Guyana Water Inc. set up with promise to cut losses By Neil Marks
Guyana Chronicle
May 31, 2002

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A SINGLE water utility for the entire country, named the Guyana Water Incorporated, was set up yesterday with promises of reducing the current 70 per cent loss of water and providing an efficient service to customers when a British-funded performance based management team comes on board by October.

The incorporation of Guyana Water means that the Guyana Water Authority (GUYWA) and the Georgetown Sewerage and Water Commissioners (GS&WC) have been merged.

Minister of Housing and Water, Shaik Baksh signed two orders to that effect yesterday - one creating Guyana Water Inc. and the other transferring the assets and liabilities of GUYWA and GS&WC to Guyana Water Inc.

“We expect a more efficient utility - a utility which will be more responsive to the needs and welfare of its customers”, Baksh told reporters at the GTV 11 Studios, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.

His signing of the orders resulted from the assenting of the Water and Sewerage Bill 2002, which was passed in the National Assembly recently, by President Bharrat Jagdeo.

The coming into being of Guyana Water Inc. has made 78 workers from the two merged entities redundant and their services will be severed.

Minister Baksh assured that they will be given all the benefits to which they are entitled.

They will receive, he said, one month’s pay in lieu of notice, and also that for their vacation leave and other allowances.

The workers represent 13 per cent of the total number of employees who will now make up Guyana Water Inc.

Further, the remaining 500-odd workers have been assured that all the benefits that they should have received, were they still at GUYWA or GS&WC, would still be theirs.

Also, there are a number of pensioners who were being paid by GUYWA and GS&WC, and according to Minister Baksh, they will continue to receive their pensions from Guyana Water Inc. and will get a “Letter of Comfort” to that effect.

The setting up of Guyana Water Inc., Minister Baksh said, “culminates just over two years of work to modernise the water sector of this country and to set up a single water utility”.

The decision by the Government to set up the single water utility was based on a 2000 study done by the international consultancy firm KPMG.

Minister Baksh said that the board of Guyana Water Inc. will be installed next week and is to be chaired by Mr. William Wilson, the chairman of the then GS&WC.

Vice-Chairman of the board will be Mr. Komal Chand, who served as Chairman of GUYWA.

Also on the board will be Ms. Claudette Moore, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Water.

There are also representatives from the consumers association and the private sector.

The tender process commenced some time ago to bring into being a performance based management contract for Guyana Water Inc., and according to Baksh, the bids would be evaluated in July and the management team should be in place by October.

The five-year management contract will be funded by the British Government’s Department for International Development.

Meanwhile, an interim management committee will be overseeing the operations of Guyana Water Inc.

Mr. Paul Bunar, who was acting Chief Executive Officer of GUYWA, will serve as Managing Director, while other key positions will be held by GUYWA Production Engineer, Mr. Egbert Coggins, who will serve as Operations Manager; and then General Manager of GS&WC, Gladstone Fawcett, who will serve as Customer Relations and Production Manager.

According to Minister Baksh, arrangements have been made for training and orientation sessions with the staff who will be part of Guyana Water Inc.

There will be relocation of departments of Guyana Water Inc. and managers for these divisions have already been identified, Baksh said.