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Orphanages, indigent homes to pay less for water

Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles and Executive Director of Commercial Services & Customer Relations, Mr. Marlon Daniels flanked by representatives of indigent homes and orphanages.

Orphanages and homes for the poor and needy have been granted water tariff concessions by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), the utility company announced.

GWI says it has assigned a minimum daily per capita consumption of 220 litres (0.220m3). The concession is 50 percent of the expected daily per capita consumption of 110 litres per day to all qualifying institutions.

GWI says each institution will be assessed at the applicable residential tariff. The water supply concession rate will be applied retroactively from December 1, 2019.

Executive Director of Commercial Services and Customer Relations, Marlon Daniels explained that there are pre-conditions to qualify for the concession: each organisation must be metered and their occupancy levels must be up-to-date and communicated with GWI at all times.

Based on information received from the regions and database records, there are 17 orphanages with a total population of 466 occupants. Historically, GWI has never placed such institutions in a specifically defined customer category.

Besides the orphanages, there are 22 other indigent homes that currently care for 698 persons.

During a meeting with representatives from the organisations, Managing Director of GWI Dr. Richard Van West-Charles said they will enjoy a 50-percent rebate on every occupant’s consumption.

He explained that GWI is aware of some of the economic challenges and hardships these homes and orphanages face and following discussions with the Board of Directors and the Public Utilities Commission, GWI took this decision to cushion their operating expenses.

“This is part of the quality of life which the President (David Granger) speaks of”, Dr. Van West-Charles was quoted as saying in a GWI release. He added that GWI is working to ensure potable water access is readily available to all.

Responding to a question by the representative of an orphanage, the Managing Director assured that the concession is a policy decision that was passed with the blessing of the Board and authorization of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and therefore it will be valid under any new management of the utility, unless a move is made to reverse it.

Daniels, expressed his delight in the position taken by management to grant the concessions. This, he said, articulates good corporate governance on the part of GWI. “The decision to grant water supply concessions can be seen in the similar vein as that granted to pensioners and signals the commitment of GWI, as a serious stakeholder within the fabric of society”, Mr. Daniels posited.

The representatives of the homes expressed their gratitude for the gesture taken by GWI, noting that it will benefit them tremendously. Some also called it a Christmas blessing.

The GWI water tariff concession move coincides with Guyana’s efforts at reaching the United Nations’ 2030 sustainable development goals of clean, accessible water for all and reducing inequality.