….MD Kamara reveals
By: Leila B. Gbati
The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has disclosed that they are working towards making sure that water theft becomes a crime.
The announcement was made by the LWSC Managing Director, Duannah A. Kamara, on January 19, 2023, when he appeared as a special guest on the Super Morning Show on ELBC.
Speaking on several issues related to water distribution, challenges, and plans for 2023, Mr. Kamara said that they are making sure to proffer a bill to the new 2023 legislature to make water theft a crime in some other way, like the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) did.
Mr. Kamara believed that the bill will curtail illegal connections at some point because people will know that if they take water illegally, they will rather go to court or jail.
According to him, people are connecting water lines illegally at midnight, and because the LWSC lines are buried underground, it is difficult for them to detect.
He also revealed that people are using the tiny LEC tube that is used to run wires to get water illegally, which they used at midnight.
He mentioned that they have their team of inspectors in the field, and every day they detect illegal lines.
Mr. Kamara used the time to encourage Liberians to stop paying money to individuals that are claiming to be LWSC agents to get water connections and to stop illegal connections.
“We sent a lot of communications out, telling our meter readers in those communities that are in the act of getting water illegally to desist.” To get water is easy, just write us asking for connection and we will come there and install your meter and your bill will not even be more that 10 USD instead of paying 50 USD to someone every month on the side, just stop and come to the system we will do that,” he said.
The LWSC boss further stated that even if a person owes water for so many years, they should come to them and pay 50% off, and they will put them on the program.
Mr. Kamara asserted that right now there are 16,000 identification water pipes in Monrovia and its environs, but they are billing around 11,000 for them.
“The issue is that the money is not coming.” “Our annual or monthly revenue when we forcefully get in the field is around 175,000 or 160,000, which is far less than what we should be getting due to these illegal connections. This is the struggle we face, but we are working to change that,” he said.
Mr. Kamara also noted that one crucial thing to secure water is legislation making water theft a crime in order to scare people out there.
He continued that presently they have their team in the field doing massive disconnections of illegal lines.
However, he emphasized that the other aspect is that affordability and services must be provided that will allow the population to rely on them.
He also stressed that the service delivery system is important because if they cannot get the delivery to the people, they will create a scenario for the institution, and that is where we are. That is why we continue to appeal for the sustainability of the system to have continued water pumping, and to do that is where the assistance comes in from the legislature.
“If we are going to pump water to the city every day because we don’t have the reservoir system, we are looking at spending nothing less than $4,000 a day with 12 to 13 hours of labor.” Water must be pumped, and to pump the water with the three kinds of chemicals, we are looking at 4000 USD per day multiplied by 30 days. If there is no LEC, we use generators, which consume about 90 gallons if we are to pump water to the city. “The infrastructure must be built by central administration in order to get the system going,” he said.