The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) says customers who are defaulting in payments of their water bills will not enjoy the free water supply as announced by the government on Sunday, April 5, 2020.
This was made known by the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr Clifford Braimah when he said all customers whose lines have been disconnected for non-payment of bills will remain unconnected.
In an interview on Monday, April 6, 2020, he said those who owe the company must pay their debts to be guaranteed the free water supply.
“The people who are owing us, we expect that they pay before they get free water. Somebody said those of them who have been disconnected, we have to connect them so that they will benefit from the three months [free water service]. I said the President is not telling me to give free water to those who are not connected because the president is not paying for January or February. And so those owing will have to pay,” Dr Braimah said.
Following the fifth address to the nation by President Nana Akufo-Addo on developments regarding the fight against COVID-19, he said the government will foot the water bill of Ghanaians for April, May and June 2020 to provide relief for Ghanaians amidst the partial lockdown in some parts of the country.
In the words of the President, the Ghana Water Company Ltd and the Electricity Company of Ghana are to ensure the stable supply of water and electricity during this period.
“In addition, there will be no disconnection of supply. Furthermore, the government will absorb the water bills for all Ghanaians for the next three months, ie, April, May, and June. All water tankers, publicly and privately-owned, are also going to be mobilized to ensure the supply of water to all vulnerable communities,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He also indicated that arrangements were being made for communities that do not enjoy water supply to be served by water tankers.
Dr Braimah, in detailing how this will be executed said a meeting will be held later today, Monday, April 6, 2020, to discuss the modalities involved in having water tankers supply water to communities not served by the Ghana Water Company Limited.
“There are some people in Accra who already do not have connection and we are setting aside tanker services to be able to attend to them. We will consider those who have been disconnected as those that are to benefit from the tanker service,” he said.
In this partial lockdown period, most Ghanaians are expected to benefit from the gesture which the government believes will ease pressure on citizens' finances especially in the suspension of most businesses which has affected livelihoods.
As part of precautionary measures put in place by the World Health Organization (WHO), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other stakeholders to combat the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the country, it has become prudent for water to be readily available for regular handwashing.