Some hoteliers have bemoaned the huge cost of pipeline water from the Ghana Water Company to their operations, with players having had their bills increased by as much as 167 percent during quarterly tariff reviews effective last June.
The Ghana Hotels Association, which described the 167 percent hike as astronomical and unjust, lamented that a good number of its members are currently struggling to pay their monthly bills.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) on June 1, 2023 approved an upward adjustment in water and electricity tariffs; a decision that was based on various factors including the rising expenses for raw water treatment chemicals, cost of electricity, exchange rates and inflation.
Though the PURC increased water tariffs by eight percent last June, the association said that of hotel operators went up by 167 percent – a situation it grieved is pushing a number of operators to the edge.
The hoteliers cited a situation where a hotel that paid GH¢3,500 a month to the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) is now being billed GH¢9,200 for the same consumption.
Speaking to B&FT, president of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr., appealed to the PURC – the utilities regulator, to revert to the 8.3 percent upward adjustment as announced.
He said the 167 percent came as a surprise to members and was initially taken for a mistake; however, after petitioning PURC the regulator has yet to resolve the issue. “We petitioned them (PURC), and initially they said it was a mistake and that they would resolve it. But they came back saying it was part of the new arrangement.
“The PURC announced the tariff adjustment and slapped us with a 167 percent increase. We are not happy about it because it has created some serious debts. The disturbing part is that Ghana Water Company is going around trying to disconnect our members because of the huge debt that has been created – which is due to no fault of ours,” he added.
He said this at the Ghana Hotels Association’ (GHA) third National Executive Council (NEC) meeting 2023, held in Accra on the theme ‘Sustaining the hotel industry in Ghana post COVID-19’.
Dr. Ackah-Nyamike Jnr. argued that the situation needs to be checked, or else it could negatively impact the local businesses.
“You have created this, and you have to solve it. We are not going to sleep on this matter, we will make sure that the right thing is done. The right thing is that PURC, which is an important public institution and needs to work with serious credibility, must honour its promises and commitments,” he said.