COVID-19: Government’s free water supply over, says GWCL

The Ghana Water Company Limited reminds Ghanaians they will start paying for water supply from January 2021

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has served notice that it will end the free water supply package to Ghanaians on 31 December 2020.

The initiative was mooted by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo over the past nine months as part of measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

“31 December, 2020, marks the end of the Government’s directive to the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to serve Ghanaians with water for free as part of measures to curb the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Customers of GWCL must please note, that from hence, the payment of water bill will be the responsibility of the customer. The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, and the Management of GWCL therefore wish to inform consumers and the general public that the last meter reading for the month of December, 2020 officially ends the free water delivery,” a statement from the water company said.

It added: “GWCL assures customers that, meter readers, and all frontline staff will continue to adhere and practice in full, all the protocols to protect themselves and our cherished customers, including cladding themselves in GWCL apparel, identity cards, personal sanitizers and face masks, before accessing their premises to read the meters.

1. Landlords and Landladies can/must revert to the arrangements with tenants prior to the free water delivery.
2. Water vendors can/must resume their normal business after the last meter reading in December, 2020.
3. Disconnected customers who were reconnected to enable them enjoy the free water during the period, must as a matter of urgency pay their arrears to remain connected.
4. Disconnected customers will remain disconnected until their arrears are settled in full before their supply will be restored.
5. All GWCL collection/pay points are opened during normal working hours and customers can also pay their bills via mobile money channels with all the telecommunications networks.
The Management of GWCL wishes to express its appreciation to all agencies who supported the free water delivery initiative. Special appreciation goes to the Government for the kind gesture towards Ghanaians.”

Caring government

On Sunday 5 April 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced: “The Ghana Water Company Ltd and the Electricity Company of Ghana have been directed to ensure the stable supply of water and electricity during this period. There will be no disconnection of supply.”

The measures were aimed at cushioning the public, and especially vulnerable families, from the effects of COVID-19.

Speaking during his presentation of the Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament in July, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said because the government puts the concerns and aspirations of the ordinary Ghanaian first, “That is also why we further reduced electricity by half and completely provided potable water for free for everybody since March this year …”

He said: “It takes a caring government of the people, and with that, I mean a government of all the people, to offer cost-free water to all across the country, representing all domestic and commercial customers in Ghana …”

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