Waterboard says it will fix water woes

Lae News, Normal

THE PNG Waterboard (PNGWB) is committed to revamp the Lae water supply system and improve customer service in Lae, the nation’s industrial hub and second largest city.
Yesterday, the water utility revealed the allocation of K8 million to upgrade Lae’s water system this year.
This was amid increasing demands and concerns over unreliable water supply and the Integrated Market Clean-up Campaign (IMCC) – that was introduced in the last quarter of last year.
PNGWB made the remarks in response to a potential customer, John Peter, who claimed in the media that he had paid K100 reconnection fee under the IMCC and was still waiting for his water to be reconnected.
Checks within its Lae database for a John Peter, however, turned up negative with no-one with the name having made any payments since August last year, PNGWB said in a statement yesterday.
But it assured it would address customer concerns as it continued the IMCC this year.
Project manager Leo Kre said water was vital for human survival and the overall economy and thus PNGWB was committed to provide this service.
“However, we appeal to customers to pay their bills on time as we rely on revenue to sustain operations because we do not receive yearly Government funding,” he said.
Under the IMCC launched last September, customers were given a three-month amnesty period to voluntarily go into PNGWB offices in Lae and Mt Hagen to report their illegal connections and arrange for flexible payment arrangements (FPA) to assist in paying their outstanding water bills.
The IMCU was aimed at collecting debts in Lae which stand at more than K9 million and addressing illegal connections that see it lose millions of kina in revenue each year.
Attempts over the years to collect this money were unsuccessful seeing the water utility introducing the IMCU along with FPA’s to assist customers in paying their outstanding debts and ensuring revenue collections.
The collection of these monies will further assist PNGWB to sustain and improve its operations.
Under the campaign customers who approached PNGWB during the amnesty period were required to pay reconnection fees and make bond deposits to get connected to the PNGWB system illegally.