The Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) has granted concessions to approximately 39 orphanages and indigent homes, reducing their charges for water consumed to cushion their operating expenses.
In a statement, the company said a 50 per cent rebate on every occupant’s consumption was approved following discussions with the Board of Directors and the Public Utilities Commission.
During a meeting with representatives from the organisations, Managing Director of GWI Dr. Richard Van West-Charles said “This is part of the quality of life which the President speaks of.”
Dr. Van West-Charles noted that GWI is aware of some of the economic challenges and hardships these homes and orphanages face.
Responding to a question by the representative of an orphanage, the Managing Director assured that the concession is a policy decision and therefore it will be valid under any new management of the utility unless a move is made to reverse same.
GWI has assigned a minimum daily per capita consumption of 220 litres (0.220m3). The concession is 50% of the expected daily per capita consumption (110 litres per person per day) to all qualifying institutions. Each institution will be assessed at the applicable residential tariff. The water supply concession rate will be applied retroactively from December 1, 2019.
Based on information received from by GWI, there are seventeen (17) orphanages across all Regions with a total population of four hundred and sixty-six (466) occupants. Historically, GWI has never placed such institutions in a specifically defined customer category.
Besides the orphanages, there are twenty-two (22) other indigent homes that care for the elderly. These 22 homes have a total population of six hundred and ninety-eight persons (698).
Executive Director of Commercial Services and Customer Relations, Marlon Daniels, expressed his delight in the position taken by management to grant the concessions. This, he said, articulates good corporate governance on the part of GWI.
“The decision to grant water supply concessions can be seen in the similar vein as that granted to pensioners and signals the commitment of GWI, as a serious stakeholder within the fabric of society”, Mr. Daniels posited.
Mr. Daniels further explained that there are pre-conditions to qualify for the concession. These are: each organisation must be metered and their occupancy levels must be up-to-date and communicated with GWI at all times.
The representatives of the homes expressed their gratitude for the gesture taken by GWI, noting that it will benefit them tremendously. Some also called it a Christmas blessing.