July 24, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Guma Valley Water Company (GWVC) is in the process of increasing its water tariff effective August 2019 to July 2020.
The rationale for the increase, which will affect consumer classes including, residential, residential building rate, commercial, institution, government, bowser, standpipe and ship bunker, among others, is to enable the company cover it operational and maintenance cost.
The proposed tariff, which is yet to be made public, is currently with the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission and will be presented at a public hearing schedule for July 31st 2019 for discussion and input from the public.
The last increase on water rate was in 2016 and since then, no increment has been made, leaving the agency to propose a new increment.
According to the Head of Economic Regulation, Brima Bah, Sierra Leone has the lowest Tariff in the West Africa sub-region.
He said the proposed new tariff will help in stabilizing the company as current tariff cannot cover their operation and maintenance cost.
“The new propose tariff once approved and accepted by the public will lead to the stabilization of Guma. This will help in addressing other challenges while enabling investment in other areas like our network,” he said.
He stated that the current pro-poor tariff of Two Thousand Five hundred Leones per meter cubic will not be change but stressed the need to increase collection rate.
Bah said the public hearing will avail citizens the opportunity to discuss and make their input on the new proposed tariff.
Section 45 of the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulation Commission (SLEWRC) Act 2011 gives the commission the authority to approve rates for electricity and water services. Sub section 3 of section 45 also makes provision for the consumer and utilities to be affected by the services.