Guma Valley Water Company has on Wednesday 29th September, 2021 signed a contract worth $ 1.5 million for the procurement, delivery and installation of five thousand one hundred (5100) meters with BAYLAN LINKING PVC. at a ceremony held at Guma Building, Lamina Sankoh Street.
Speaking during the ceremony, Guma Deputy Managing Director, Ing. Francis Lahai, explained that the metering of customers water supply connections is part of the interventions under the Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping Project.
Ing. Lahai said the rationale behind the move is to increase on the revenue generation of the company, reduce non-revenue water and thereby improve on the water supply situation as a whole.
The Deputy Managing Director added that Guma is moving in a new direction and that new direction is towards universal metering in the next five years.
Ing. Lahai stated that four types meters; ultrasonic, smart, mechanical and telemetric meters will be installed together with some bulk meters.
The Managing Director of Guma Valley Water Company, Ing. Maada Kpenge noted the significance of the contract, adding that metering is one of the company’s key strategies to conserve water and improve on access. He disclosed that a new tariffing regime for Guma has been approved by the Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) and this he said will increase the revenue generated by the company and the sustainability of water supply.
Ing. Kpenge said 1360 of the meters will be prepaid meters; and this will be targeted at Government institutions and commercial enterprises, 2400 meters mainly for residential homes and 1240 ultrasonic meters.
The Guma MD added that the company had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Youth Commission (NaYCom) and Government Technical Institute (GTI) for the recruitment and training of Plumbers that will be involved in the meter installation exercise.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Guma, Hon. Mrs. Bintu Myers expressed her delight to be present at the signing ceremony. “Few weeks ago, it was the signing of an agreement for the construction of a mini dam at Angola Town. Today is it a signing of the contract for a batch of water meters. I am of course the proud Chairman, with all these projects taking place during my tenure in office. It is very likely, as things are unfolding that these projects were in the pipeline, waiting for the New direction Board of Directors to come over to Guma and be part of the implementation process. These are our legacies, that myself and my Directors will be remembered for as we exit the doors of Guma when we come to the end of our contracts.”
Hon. Myers called on Guma staff to work very hard to generate the much-needed revenue to meet the company’s operations and maintenance expenditure and also improve on customer service delivery.
Making his statement, the Minister of Water Resources, Ing. Philip K. Lansana admonished both parties to the contract to keep to their roles and responsibilities as stated in the contract documents; Guma to provide the funds in a timely manner and the contractor to supply the meters according to the required specifications.
Minister Lansana lamented the fact that as most customers water connections are not metered, they do not have the incentive to control their usage and would leave their taps running unattended; “When you have your water metered, you will be careful how you use the water”.
He said he is happy that prepaid meters will be installed at Government institutions because they mostly don’t prioritize water supply as a key component of their expenditure.
Minister Lansana commended Guma for working on replacing the many spaghetti pipes in most communities by laying sub-mains, reducing the leakages and creating more access.
He however cautioned Guma to ensure that the metering exercise is successful and that the meters do not disappear after being installed in customers premises as was the case in the past.
The contractor’s representative thanked Guma for awarding the contract to his group and assured that they will commence the implementation immediately. He promised that they will deliver against the stipulated timeframe of 18 months with the best quality. “When once the procedures are completed, we will proceed with the execution of the works”, he assured.