Guyana Water Incorporated wishes to respond to the Stabroek News front-page photograph, titled ‘Fetching water’ dated Tuesday February 10, 2015. The photograph and corresponding caption indicated that the customer, Bennita Kissoon, had applied for a new water service connection and was unable to pay the cost.
GWI wishes to clarify the issues surrounding what is depicted in the photograph. Firstly, GWI’s Customer Services Manager, East Coast Demerara, following an investigation confirmed that there is no application for a new water service connection in the name of the customer identified in the image.
Following publication of the image, GWI’s Divisional Operations Manager visited the customer who indicated that she could not recall applying for a new service connection.
GWI wishes to state that any customer applying for a new service must visit the nearest GWI customer services office and complete an application form. Customers must also provide proof of ownership/tenancy as required by the company’s policy before the application is processed.
The company wishes to emphasize that the cost for a new service connection for a domestic customer is G$1000. No customer is required to pay any further charges as the majority of the cost to install a new water service connection is borne by the utility.
GWI will not deprive any resident of water service, however persons must follow the required procedures and provide the necessary documentation for obtaining a new service connection which includes visiting GWI and completing the necessary application form. The company wishes to underline the fact that no customer will be required to pay more than G$1000 for a new service connection.
GWI also challenges the Stabroek News publication with completing a thorough investigation before publishing an image and caption without the required facts, since this can lead to misconceptions that GWI is depriving customers of a valuable resource. The company wishes to reassure customers that providing efficient customer service remains a priority.
Public Relations Officer
The photographer was told by Ms Kissoon that she had made an application for a water connection but that since there was no water main on her side of the road she could not have a regular connection. She said that GWI workers told her that it would cost her $160,000 for the connection to be made from across the road. She also said that she had a copy of her application and other paperwork from GWI. Stabroek News therefore stands by the information contained in the caption to the photograph.