Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation To Bill Private Well and Borehole Owners
Monrovia – A new Act of Legislature is urging citizens who are commercializing their private wells and boreholes to register with the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) in order to obtain meter and get billed.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Nimpson Todd, Communication Officer at the LWSC, told FrontPageAfrica that well and borehole owners who sell 500 gallons and above would be billed by the LWSC.
According to him, commercial well owners who have not registered with LWSC would be fined US$5,000 or may face six months imprisonment.
Todd said, the LWSC has dispatched taskforce into communities to inspect wells and boreholes in private homes and violators would be brought to book.
He maintained that all natural resources, including water, belongs to the government, as such, the LWSC would exercise full control over water and those commercializing it must obtain permission from the LWSC.
He, however, noted that individuals giving out water from their wells for free are not subject to the billing by the LWC.
The pronouncement by the LWSC has triggered a lot of condemnation from the public, especially on social media.
Dr. Kimmie Weeks, former Board Chair of the LWSC commented on social media: “While I cannot speak/interpret for the current board and management…I can say that the act that we drafted and passed last year and only makes provisions for metering of boreholes that are used for commercial purposes (especially those that are within range of LWSC lines but refuse to get connected)…This is for large hotels, water companies or say extractive minerals companies who are using millions of gallons of this resource without paying a cent. The language was carefully crafted to ensure that it could not be applied to private use boreholes or wells.”
However, Todd reacted to Weeks’ comment, stating, “Chair, but if family wells are commercializing then, they are included as enshrined in the great job done by you and your team Sir.”
Though the LWSC claims that water as natural resource should be managed by the government, citizens think the move the corporation is not in the best interest of the population since water is a basic necessity of life.
Ibrahim Nyei, a policy maker, commented on social media, “They [LWSC] are not serious!! They should be thinking of accounting to the people on their failure to deliver adequate water to communities.”
As at 2016, only 25 percent of Liberia’s estimated 4.5 million population had access to safe drinking water, according to WaterAid. Fears are that when the billing of water wells and borehole begins, private owners would increase the cost of water per gallon, thus, making access to safe water more difficult.
Florence Afua Aikins, commented on Facebook, “LWSC is not providing 24 hours running water, why will I want to run a line there? Some people do not even live within water lines. Please find something better and work on providing water to all. Water is not luxury.”
Amin Modad, producer of bottled mineral water (PUR Still Mineral Water) also wrote, “This is not a manifestation of Pres. Weah’s vision. This does not in the slightest way help the masses who already don’t have access to clean drinking water, proper healthcare, and basic social services! Do they know how this will impact the ordinary masses who can’t afford wells, but depend on others who have wells in their yards for free and safe drinking water? These owners of private wells who generously allow their communities to draw from their wells will shut them out. We will not only have a safe drinking water crisis, but communities would be exposed to unsafe water born diseases and the country prone to major health crisis.”
Andy A. Hassan questioned, “Was it water and sewer that helped drill my well? Let them come. As a citizen I deserve lots of benefits from the government and am getting nothing in return for my tax or whatever.”
Abdullah Abdul said, “This is laughable but not in a good way. Why should people pay bill for well and hand pump in striving country like Liberia? I’m stagger here. What’s reason for this inane new policy? Le me see somebody to my house say La come collect well bill. Nonsense!”