GWI survey finds high percentage of city customers illegally reconnect service

Nicholas Dawalat

Approximately sixty percent of a sample population of 700 Georgetown customers have illegally reattached their water service after being disconnected for overdue balances. This was revealed in  a survey conducted by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) in October, 2018.

A release from GWI yesterday said that 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 said 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.

A GWI crew at work

He noted that 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 standards, as well as its ability to pay its workers.

Dawalat said 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 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, GWI said. 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.



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