Water & Sewer, And Water Producers Begin Talks
The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) and the Liberia Water Producers Association (LWPA) have reached an agreement for collaboration between the two institutions for the implementation of the New LWSC Act of 2017.
Speaking at a well attended meeting in the offices of the LWSC in Monrovia recently, the newly appointed Managing Director of the LWSC Mr. Duannah Kamara lauded the leadership and members of the LWPA for responding to their invitation to discuss and reach an understanding on the new LWSC 2017 Act.According to Mr. Kamara, the Act which was passed into law by the previous 53rd National Legislature of the past administration empowers the LWS to among other things issue licenses for the development, operations, production and maintenance of commercial wells and boreholes in urban cities and towns.
He said the Act also empowers LWSC to exercise powers in accordance with the economic, social and environmental policies of the government, and to determine the tariffs to consumers for the operations of commercial wells and boreholes.
Mr. Kamara explained that the new LWSC Act which was passed on the 27 December 2017 and printed into handbills on January 21, 2018 also mandates the LWSC to to ensure the optimum development and use of water resources in urban cities or towns.
He added that the new Act also provides facilities for the collection and safe disposal of sewage, to apply appropriate standards, technology and techniques for the use, control, protection, management and administration of water sewage.
According to a press release from the LWSC, an initial meeting with the LWPA in early March ended in a deadlock over plans of the corporation to implement the aspect of the Act that mandates the corporation to ensure that all commercial wells above 5,000 gallons of water monthly, and boreholes must be registered at the corporation and equipped with meters.
“we call you today May 15, to inform you about the cost to be incurred in operating a well and boreholes bearing in moind the significant roles you are playing in the society. Although we now haqve the legal instruments to proceed, we cannot do so without referencing you in view of your immense contributions to the Liberian people,” he said.
The LWSC boss added that as part of their approaqch in implementing the LWSC Act the will coordinate with otheragencies of government and share responsibilities on regulation in order to reduce burdens LWPA endures in running commercial wells and boreholes.
He noted that their approach also includes offering their monitoring and testing facilities free of charge to enswure that they meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards, adding that the discussions with them will continue while cautioning them to be honest in their partnership with the corporation, as it seeks to implore equilibrium, protection and the promotion of the Liberia Water Producing companies.
In remarks, the President of the LWPA Madam Yvonne Boyd thanked the LWSC management for their level of professionalism and maturity demonstrated, adding that “we are willing to cooperate with the new leadership team at the LWSC.
“We feel honored and respected by these discussions and would definitely inform our people about the developments so far. The new team at the LWSC has proven to have respect for human-beings and is willing to partner with our organization, She said.
Madam Boyd however reminded the management of the LWSC that over ninety percent of water companies in Liberia are operating at a loss due to several factors wich include the regulatory factors.
“The inflation of the exchange rate of the U S dollar against the Liberia dollars, the regulatory charges of the Liberian government from the Ministry of Health, Commerce, National Public Health Institute and the Ministry of lands and Mines, “ she said..
A final discussion between the LWSC and the LWPA leadership is expected within three weeks, during which the two sides will arrive at a compromise on how to implement the New LWSC Act of 2017.
Commercial water companies that attended the meeting included Aqua Life, Bravo, Shepherd, Pur, and SSS PVT Ltd as well as the leadership of the LWPA while LWSC was represented by the Managing Director Hon. Duannah Kamara and the Deputy Managing Director for Operations Mr. Dan Saryee.
By John L. Momoh