The Nationl, Thursday 27th September, 2012
CHIEF executive officer Billy Imar says Eda Ranu loses about K20 million in revenue each year from unpaid bills of users in villages and settlements
He said Eda Ranu, as a service provider, has an obligation to provide water and sewerage services to the people of Port Moresby but it must be done on a win-win situation for the company to maintain the service, continue to be profitable and meet the shareholders’ expectations.
“The quality of water that Eda Ranu provides to the people of Port Moresby city is of high standards and comes at a cost in terms of investment, infrastructure, water treatment, operations, maintenance and man hours put in each day,” Imar said.
“Eda Ranu has no problem supplying water and sewerage services to paying customers within and around the city because what they pay helps to support Eda Ranu to continue the services at a higher quality and standard.
“However, this is quite different and difficult when it comes to providing water and sewerage services to settlements and villages because most of them don’t pay.
In addition to not paying for water, there are also issues of illegal connections, old pipe fittings leaking and continuous breaks which have contributed to high levels of non-revenue water (NRW), which is simply ‘water unaccounted for’ and this poses a greater challenge to Eda Ranu.
In its efforts to account for NRW and address the water needs of people in villages and settlements, Eda Ranu since 2003 has embarked on a series of initiatives under the NRW reduction programme.
This programme has enabled settlements and villages to get organised so they can pay for the quantity of water used.
“This helps Eda Ranu continue to provide and maintain the services on a sustainable basis over time,” Imar said.
“However, it is sad to say that even with these initiatives in place and a continued allowance of water to the respective areas, some people still continue to refuse paying for the water service.”
Imar said people were abusing the service when they received it and did not bother paying for it, at the same time refusing to help fix a leaking pipe or even report it.
“In some countries, people in peri-urban areas of the cities, particularly in Asia, pay for the water so the service is sustainable, resulting in an improved quality of life in health and hygiene,” he said.