Mr. Michael Agyeman, Chief Manager in charge of Public Relations at Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) on Tuesday allayed worries over water tariff increase, saying the increment is insignificant.
The 6.1% tariff increase by the Public Utility Regulation Commission (PURC) for the third quarter of the year, meant cost of water will go up on July 1.
But Mr. Agyeman told the Ghana News Agency that Ghanaians will be charged just one pesewa more for water.
He said one cubic metre which is equal 200 gallons of water, will now cost 1.46 Ghana Cedis.
“It is just 0.8% increase from 1.38 Ghana Cedis to 1.46 Ghana Cedis. People should not panic at all,” he added.
Mr. Agyeman said postpaid customers will only see the new charge in the first week of August when they receive their bills.
He dispelled claims that the GWCL has failed to improve water supply even after numerous tariffs increment.
He explained that tariffs were not meant for expansion works, but for operational costs.
“The increment is meant to pay for electricity cost, to import chemicals, purchase pumps and to pay for other administration expenses,” he added
He said GWCL uses 35% of its revenue to pay for electricity.
“We have to increase our prices if the electricity company increases its tariffs,” he added.
Mr. Agyeman said the hike in tariffs is also meant to enable GWCL exchange dollar to import chemicals used for production.
He said the GWCL rather depends on capital investment to expand supply.
“We fall on government to get loans for proper production of water. We need to invest to produce more water, and that is not what the tariff is meant for,” he said.
He said GWCL produces 90 million gallons of water in a day, but that he said, is not enough to meet the needs of Accra.
“What we produce each day is not enough. That is why we are always rationing water,” he said.
He said Accra needs 150 million gallons of water each day, and GWCL is working hard to make up for the 60 million deficit.
He said water expansion works are going at Kpong in the Greater-Accra Region, to enhance water supply to Accra.
The project, which will help produce 9.2 million gallons of water, is being undertaken with a 270-million-dollar loan from Exim Bank of China.
He said another project, ”Teshie-Nungua Desalination Project,” will also bring in another 13.2 million gallons of water. GNA