Residents of Adenta in the Greater Accra Region are protesting astronomical bills presented to them by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
The residents claim that they have been billed for services they did not receive, with some of them threatening to default on payment of their water bills.
This has prompted the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to launch investigations into the matter.
Joy News’ Kwetey Nartey reports that the residents have received huge bills from the GWCL, the least of which he sighted being for GhÈ¼500.00.
According to some of the residents, they have not had water flowing through their taps for years and yet the water company keeps presenting them with bills for the utility.
Many of the residents claimed that despite the re-opening of the Kpong Waterworks in December 2014, they have received either intermittent water supply, or none at all.
The angry residents questioned how the GWCL could present them with bills for water they simply have not had access to it. Adamant that they would not pay the charges, they insisted they would only do so if the GWCL drags them to court.
Listen to the angry residents below:
Director of Public Affairs of the PURC, Nana Yaa Jantuah, says a probe has been launched into the matter.
She explained that reports reaching the PURC indicate that the residents may have received intermittent water supply over a number of years and that the bills may indeed be legitimate amounts.
Ms Jantuah opined that if residents were used to purchasing their water from tankers, they would most likely have been unaware when GWCL released water to their homes.
As such, she said, the PURC believes that “the consumers should be given a payment plan even if they owe (GWCL) because the water wasn’t regular”.
She assured that the PURC would look into the situation.
Meanwhile the Ghana Water Company has defended its decision, saying the residents received limited supply during the ten years that they lived without water.
Communications Manager of GWCL Stanley Martey explained that the company bills customers according to their consumption.
Prior to the re-opening of the waterworks, he said, the residents were receiving water intermittently and that most of them have allowed the bills to accumulate over a period of years.
It was therefore, he said, unfortunate that the residents should refuse to pay what they owe.
He acknowledged that some residents may have genuine concerns and explained that such persons are expected to present their bills to the GWCL.
He however questioned the veracity of claims by some residents that they do not even have pipes laid in their homes, asking “how do you receive our bill?”
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