Liberia: Water Producers Threaten to Increase Sachet Price If Gov’t Levy Tax On Boreholes
Monrovia – Water producers in Monrovia have warned that they will be constrained to increase the price of a sachet (a plastic bag) of water from L$5.00 to L$25.00 if the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) place a charge on their privately owned (wells) boreholes.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh -00231777769531 / 00231880881540 / [email protected]
The National Water Supply and Sanitation Commission Act passed by the Legislature in 2018 mandates 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.
It establishes a regulatory agency for the water supply and sanitation sector that is responsible for regulating tariffs, licenses and service standards in Liberia.
In addition, it supports a rapid economic recovery, reconstruction, and development of Liberia and is critical to improving water and sanitation services for all citizens in the country.
Apparently, in line with the act, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has begun installing meters at private commercial wells and boreholes in order to bill them.
The water producers, under the banner, “Stakeholders of Water producers addressing a packed press conference on Wednesday, April 17 condemned the LWSC’s decision and called on its management to remove all meters from their wells or they will remove themselves.
“In the strongest tone, the stakeholders of water producers of Liberia condemned the unfavorable and disapproving decision of the Liberia Water Sewer Corporation and at the same, would love to call on the LWSC boss Duana Kamara to immediately desist from putting meters on private wells for it is not in the best interest of the citizens at all,” the group said in a statement read by its Spokesperson, Musa A. Sherif.
If the government upholds its decision, the group noted, the price of a sachet of water will increase, and it will lead to an adverse effect as people will revert to drinking ordinary none-filtered water; thereby increasing government spending on health-related issues.
The group warned: “Let LWSC boss Duana Kamara understands that an attempt to enforce the decision in this critical time of our country where most of the citizens cannot even afford to purchase a bag of mineral water will not only worsen the living conditions of the masses, but will also make the masses to go against the government, simply meaning that a bag of water will be sold for L$25 and his will lead to an increase in water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery.”
The water producers stated that it was “unthinkable” for the LWSC management to take such decision at a time President George Weah is having sleepless nights just to make life easier for his people; adding: “Water is life and it is indispensable; portable drinking water must remain affordable.”
They alleged that just few weeks ago, LWSC pumped into homes in Monrovia and its environs “salty and dirty water” exposing a large portion of the population to harm and it was due to the intervention these locally owned wells that Monrovians did not experience water crisis on a full scale.
They called on Kamara to resign as LWSC boss if he has ran out of strategies to properly manage the entity, he should resign and give other bright minds the chance to run the institution.
Meanwhile, FrontPage Africa contacted the communication officer of LWSC, Nimpson Todd for comments on the water producers claims, but Todd said he could not respond immediately as he was attending to his ill daughter at the hospital.
He promised to call back but FPA did not receive a call from him up to press time.