The Management of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) alarms that about 11 water companies are extracting 5,000 gallons of water and selling it to the public without consent of the corporation.
Managing Director Duannah A. Kamara says the practice of extracting such huge gallons of water from the ground without paying money to government is causing the LWSC to lose millions of dollars, while undermining government’s pro-poor agenda plans.
Speaking during official launch of the Water Bill Payment scheme recently at the LWSC sub-office in Fish Market opposite the James Springs Payne Airport in the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor, he says the initiative is a joint effort by Liberia’s leading mobile telecommunication company Lonestar Cell MTN, and the government through the LWSC.
“Liberian people, you need to pay some money to the government; we’re not talking about people that have their private wells in their homes, but those who are extracting more than five thousand gallons per month and selling it to the Liberian people.”
Director Kamara names companies extracting water illegally as Aqua Life, Ducor Water company, Super Aqua, Fresh Aqua and Jolly Jolly, among others, noting that these companies are extracting water without paying royalty to the LWSC. “We think this a bad.”
He says the new law passed by the 53rd legislature and signed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf instructs the LWSC to put meter on companies that are extracting water, saying the LWSC is unable to raise money to take up its responsibility alone.
The management consultant at the corporation, George Lassana, while giving an overview of the project, says upon the ascendency of the new leadership of LWSC they realized that customers, who are benefiting from the service, were experiencing numerous challenges, one of which is making bill payment in time.
“We also noted that some of those customers have to make huge transportation cost to pay their bills at one location which is the LWSC office”, he notes.
He says over the period, management established a depot at Caldwell Road to receive payments, but those depots were not enough to meet up with customers’ payment in time.
Meanwhile, the House committee chair on public utility, Representative Arthur Hill, who graced the launch, promises to work closely with the LWSC to have its mandate executed.
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne