Communications director at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Stanley Martey, has urged customers to pay the GHC1 on every water bill introduced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).
According to him, the devastation caused by illegal mining has affected not only water bodies but contaminated it. Owing to this, he indicated that there is the need for consumers to pay the GHC1 in order to clear up the rivers.
Mr Martey revealed that once this is done, the GWCL will use less chemicals and the cost of production will be lower, which will eventually impact on the tariff, so consumers pay less than they are paying now.
“When it comes to galamsey, I think the population of citizens involved in galamsey should be less than 1% of the total population in Ghana. How can 1% hold the entire population of Ghana to ransom to this extent, while the 99% of us who are paying for the mess being caused by the 1%, why can’t we all put our monies together and stop them from what they are doing? So, this is a call to all of us, everybody is paying. So, let us put our monies together and then fight them.”Stanley Martey
GWCL saddled with debt
Furthermore, Mr Martey insisted that the additional GHC1 consumers are supposed to pay wasn’t ordered by the GWCL. He explained that the GWCL is regulated, and it only has the product but does not determine the prices.
“That is determined by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, and per the law, we have to submit our reports to them, they look at the report, economic situation, put their formula together, put in everything they have to and come out with a tariff. You cannot put the tariff on the doorstep of the Ghana Water Company Limited – it is that of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission.”Stanley Martey
Moreover, Mr Martey noted that the Ghana Water Company is saddled with a lot of debt. To this end, he underscored that if consumers do not come together to address the issue and fight the menace, by paying to purify the water, then they’ll have to be paying more on utility tariffs.
“We have to buy chemicals with foreign exchange. Now, look at the way the foreign exchange is dancing against the cedi, so what else can we do? Now, we have had to buy more expensive chemicals because the chemicals that we were using previously can no longer treat the water as we expect it to happen. So, we have to buy a more expensive chemical which is about three times more than what previously we were using. Now, how can Ghana Water Company survive if we do not increase the price of water?”Stanley Martey
The GWCL Communications director iterated that to resolve the contamination of water bodies through illegal mining, the PURC in its wisdom and per the calculations and law, have put together the tariff for customers to pay. He further emphasized that the GWCL does not have control over it, as it can’t set its own tariff.
“If we have to set our own tariff, I’m sure it’ll be more expensive than what we are seeing now. So, if we all do not want to pay more, let us in our on way, talk to the recalcitrant few citizens amongst us to stop what they are doing, then we can have clear water bodies, then cost of production will be very low for us to pay less.”Stanley Martey