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Water consumers owe GWCL GH¢800 million in unpaid bills

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Mr. Martey attributed the rise in amount owed the company to non-payment of bills, postpaid meters and lack of knowledge about GWCL’s electronic payment platform.

Regarding the introduction of prepaid meters, Mr. Martey said that GWCL has not abandoned the idea of replacing the postpaid system with prepaid following the initial piloting, and is currently searching for robust metering equipment that can alert the company when customers tamper with the meters.

“We once piloted the prepaid system, but the system did not really help us. A lot of customers tampered with the meters, which resulted in huge losses to the company. GWCL has not abandoned the idea of replacing the postpaid system with prepaid; but for now, we are on the lookout for robust metering equipment that when mounted there should be some sensors which can draw our attention when customers try to tamper with it,” Mr. Marty said.

Debt recovery

To retrieve the debt from its consumers, Mr. Martey explained that all workers of GWCL across the country, including management, have been embarking on periodic revenue mobilisation exercises whereby they visit consumers to demand payment of unpaid bills.

The GWCL also uses the exercise as an opportunity to educate customers on the bill payment process, including the use of the mobile money or the GWCL Customer App which can be downloaded from both Play Store and Apple Store.

Furthermore, Mr. Martey indicated that customers who are in arrears and willing to pay are made to pay part and also given a grace period to settle their indebtedness, while the recalcitrant ones risk having their pipelines disconnected.

He further revealed that about 60 percent of the customers who owe GWCL are located in the Greater Accra Region.

“Some customers who were caught having tampered with the reading meters have been taken to court and await prosecution, while those who were willing to pay, were given some period of time to pay after all debts were calculated,” he said.

Mr. Martey advised Ghanaians to change their attitude toward payment of utility bills, and also desist from attacking field workers when they come into their homes to read or disconnect meters.

He disclosed that the GWCL is also deploying a smart metering system, whereby management can read meters accurately and/or disconnect meters digitally as part of measures to curb the situation.

Source: thebftonline.com

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