The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) recently met with 14 Region four Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Office, Triumph, East Coast Demerara to propose the councils as collection agents for the utility.
During that meeting, GWI’s Executive Director of Commercial Services and Customer Relations, Mr. Marlon Daniels told the representatives that the company is proposing a payment of $60 per transaction to be paid to the NDCs.
GWI currently has 13 commercial offices countrywide, where customers can pay their bills, as well as other bill payment agencies. However, due to the geographical spread of its customers, the company has recognised the need for convenient and cost effective ways to reach out to its valued customers in order for them to pay their bills.
NDCs as collection agents will allow customers to save money and time, develop a better relationship with GWI and visiting the offices monthly will allow them to make smaller payments of rates and taxes rather than paying a lump sum at the end of the year, thus avoiding paying interest.
The councils will be able to increase cash flow and revenue and develop a closer working relationship with GWI as well. A contractual agreement will have to be established between the company and the councils. Meetings will be held with the individual NDCs soon to further discuss this proposal.
This was GWI’s first engagement with NDCs, but it has been participating generally at the level of the RDCs.
The engagement was also held in order for the company to discuss with the NDCs, how they can collaborate in the best interest of the Guyanese people.
Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles stressed the need for the utility to work along with the NDCs as it continues to work to provide potable water to their communities.
Highlighting that GWI aims to provide water that is of good quality and at a good pressure, he noted that arresting leaks is critical to the process, and the NDCs can work along with the utility in that regard.
The Managing Director also pointed out the need for the NDCs to have a better understanding of the network and to also be aware of GWI’s schedule for the flushing of pipelines in their areas so that they can monitor same.
Having a better understanding of the network will also allow the NDCs to avoid breaking pipelines when conducting works. He also stressed the need for the NDCs to report to GWI, in the event that a breakage does occur.
Dr. Van West-Charles also told the councils that water quality staff will be taking samples on a regular basis and the results will be provided to them so that they can post same at their respective NDC offices.
GWI is looking to install Fire Hydrants countrywide and the Managing Director said that this is also another area in which the utility can collaborate with the NDCs, since this is critical to the safety and security of the residents.
He also took the opportunity to brief the NDCs on the continued efforts of GWI to provide good quality water by regularly flushing the pipelines and ensuring treatment systems are in place. These systems, he said, were absent under the previous administration.
The Managing Director also highlighted the successful use of SeaQuest in some communities across the country to reduce the presence of iron in water.