Our daily lives have become increasingly burdensome

Dear Editor,
It is with utter disgust and disappointment that I am writing this painful letter. It makes me wonder what role the Public Utilities Commission is fulfilling if it is only to approve increased rates demanded by GPL and GWI. According to a multitude of customers, these two entities are as thieving as those in Government!
The Managing Director of Guyana Water Incorporated, Dr Van-West Charles, pledged to fulfil the company’s mission statement “To deliver safe, adequate and affordable water and to ensure safe sewerage systems for improved public health and sustainable economic development”. He had promised to achieve this by improving water quality, ensuring that citizens are having equal access to running water, upgrading to a 24-hour supply and guaranteeing the required water pressure. In addition, he said that his quest will be to make GWI more “customer-centric” by embarking on community outreaches to solicit feedback. He further stated that GWI has established countrywide zones for close monitoring and swift action.
How can we believe the above statement when the entire Berbice was plunged into an acute water shortage due to GWI not delivering on its promises? It is no surprise that the entity has mimicked the coalition Government! Berbicians in many areas have been without water for nearly three days and it was only when GWI was contacted that they proffered an explanation that is as obnoxious as the service it offers to the public. Placing an advisory nearly two days after is unacceptable. I was told that these areas where GWI pumps are located have been affected by low voltage. However, even so, it has definitely taken a long time for GWI to engage GPL for the problem to be fixed. But since both can be classified as the worse service providers this country has ever seen; the inordinately long period to fix minor problems are quite understandable. Moreover, the “customer-centric” nature of GWI only kicked in on the second day of the water problem. What has happened to the need to give timely feedback to customers to apprise them of the problem and when the situation can return to normalcy?
Unfortunately, it is difficult for customers to accept GWI’s frivolous excuses when these stoppages have been quite frequent over a long period of time, especially in the Chesney, Kilcoy and Fyrish areas. In these areas, it has become a weekly routine and despite customers’ protests, the water problems worsen. We are not only affected by water shortage but by poor quality of water and bills which are riddled with “errors”. Numerous complaints were made by customers who claimed that they are being made to pay the same amount on the bills twice. This was raised at the RDC meeting by one of the Councillors who produced one such bill. The “customer experience” is definitely getting worse Dr Charles! This hogwash service in totally unacceptable.
The frequent blackouts by GPL and water shortages by GWI have now become daily plagues which citizens have to deal with. It is ironic that citizens are now paying more for these services and are increasingly being provided with poorer services. Our daily lives have become increasingly burdensome while this Government, though relegated to “caretaker” status, has continued to ignore the cries of the people!

Yours sincerely,
Haseef Yusuf
RDC Councillor
Region Six