Minister warns public against illegal water connection

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Dr Freda Prempeh, has warned the public against illegal water connections, saying culprits would be prosecuted.

She noted that illegal water connections and tempering with the meters of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) was causing huge economic losses to the nation, and therefore, called on all to remain vigilant and help apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators.

Dr Prempeh, also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North constituency in the Ahafo Region, gave the warning when speaking at the “Accounting to Our Customers” (ATC 2023) stakeholders meeting of the GWCL in Accra.

She emphasised that with support from the ministry, the GWCL had tightened security and intensified surveillance to protect its distribution lines and further check customers or miscreants who connected water into their homes, illegally.

The Minister entreated the public not to hesitate to contact GWCL through its call centre whenever they suspected anybody engaged in illegal water connection or had challenges with supply of water in their homes.

Other challenging issues confronting the GWCL, Dr Prempeh mentioned were illegal mining and sand mining, expressing the regret that the company ought to spend huge sums of money annually for water treatment and distribution to customers.

She, therefore, called on individuals and stakeholders, including chiefs, queens, community and other opinion leaders, Assembly members, religious and corporate bodies and the media to support the nationwide fight against illegal mining.

“In fact, sand winning also pollutes our water bodies and we must all come together to see the possibility of putting proper structures in place without denying people of their livelihoods,” Dr Prempeh stated.

The Minister indicated that illegal mining polluted water bodies, saying “when this happened the GWCL had to spend more and additional monies to treat before it could supply customers with potable drinking water.”

Dr Prempeh commended the Board, management and the entire staff of GWCL for their hard work in bringing the growth of the company to the next level and praised the various Regional Directors for their innovations.

The Managing Director of the GWCL, Dr Clifford A Braimah, emphasised the company’s readiness and commitment to modernizing its commercial business operations, indicating that the company’s electronic billing system substantially increased electronic payments, reaching GH₵123.3 million in 2022.

“As of August 2023, the monthly average revenues from electronic payments have reached GH₵16.9 million, from over 86 thousand transactions. Projections indicate that water revenues from electronic payments will reach GH₵203 million by the end of 2023, marking a 65 percent surge from the 2022 figure,” he stated.

On customer strength, he said the company’s commercial and marketing department had been instrumental in promoting business services, engaging with customers, and crafting effective marketing strategies.

“As of August 2023, GWCL proudly serves 923,000 customers  with 99 percent being private accounts and one percent being government.

“Our customer base is projected to grow to 939,000 by the end of 2023, marking a 6 percent increase compared to the previous year,” he said. He attributed the growth to various factors, including focus on customer engagement, service quality, and economic development.

“We also credit our success to targeted marketing strategies, community outreach, and strategic partnerships to attract new customers,” he said.

Dr Braimah indicated the company’s current metering ratio stood at an impressive 95 percent ensuring accurate billing for most of its customers and assured of its commitment to efficient metering replacement by investing in smart meters to further enhance billing accuracy and overall efficiency.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.