Minister of Housing and Water, Colin Croal during the budget debate this morning at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), said that when the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) assumed office in August last year, it found the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) in dire straits.

The former administration, the Minister said, allowed the utility company to incur losses despite the existence of steep tariff increases.

“Mr. Speaker, GWI was on the verge of a financial collapse…It had significant operating loss of $1.1billion. So dire was its situation that it had to rely on bank overdraft facilities to finance its operations. Sadly, but predictably for the Coalition strategies, overdrafts totaling $270million did nothing to alleviate its losses,” Croal said.

He added that employment costs had also skyrocketed since 2015 and debt “plagued” the entity.

“At August 2020, GWI debt to suppliers totaled $783 million! And even worse, over 5000 customers were denied service connections because basic inventory levels of service connection materials that are required to provide a service had deteriorated. Also, in August 2020 the new Management inherited over 8000 water leaks which had been ignored for the period 2015 to August 2020,” the Minister told the House.

He added that the government has already began to recoup losses. He said that GWI has since collected $5.3B in revenue – an increase of $1B over 2019.

“Its debt is reduced, it did not access its overdraft facility, and overall, its financial situation has improved. And this has happened in less than seven months and without burdening our pensioners!” Croal said.


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