Approximately sixty per cent of a sample population of 700 Georgetown customers have illegally reconnected their water service after being disconnected for overdue balances.
This revelation comes on the heels of a survey conducted by Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) in October, 2018.
The survey revealed that these customers, the majority of whom are domestic customers, would have illegally reconnected their service over the past several months.
According to GWI in a statement, as a result, the utility has intensified its disconnection and service removal campaign across the capital city, with a particular focus on those customers who have illegally reconnected their service.
GWI’s Revenue Manager for Georgetown, Nicholas Dawalat explained that the company is currently in the Queenstown area and is planning to venture out to the various wards in Georgetown such as Stabroek, Alberttown, and Charlestown.
According to him, illegal reconnections result in a reduced level of service to customers, loss in revenue and contamination in the lines, which compromises the quality of water provided to customers.
He further added that the company’s loss in revenue also affects its ability to purchase chemicals to treat water to ensure that the quality meets World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, as well as its ability to pay its workers.
Dawalat highlighted that disconnections and service removals are GWI’s last resorts, after their numerous attempts to reach out to customers prove futile.
Customers are given 28 days after their bill is due to clear their balance or the option to take advantage of the utility’s wallet-friendly payment plans.
If they fail to do so, their service is disconnected and they are given an additional 28 days to pay their reconnection fee, before their service is removed.
The cost for reconnection for domestic customers is $7,500 and $16,000 for commercial customers, whereas the replacement fee for both categories is $20,000.
The Revenue Manager took the opportunity to point out that GWI targets all categories of indebted customers, irrespective of whether they are domestic or commercial.