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The National Water Commission (NWC) increased its customer base to more than 400,000 in 2004/05, due to the implementation of initiatives aimed at “delivering superior customer service”.
According to the company’s annual report for the period, which was recently tabled in the House of Representatives, the improvements were in keeping with its three-year transformation plan, which is designed to turn the NWC into a viable business.
The report detailed that this growth was realised through positive balance between project expenditure and operation profits, together with the NWC’s thrust to improve its customer care and public image, improve technical performance as well as to better manage capital projects.
“The NWC therefore continued to make significant progress to improve its operating efficiency across the island,” the report stated, achieving an efficiency level of more 95 per cent plant operation during the year under review.
The report noted further, that despite high production costs that were impacted by “rampant water theft” and employment costs, “the Commission continued on its commitment to be more efficient by containing cost and expenses to a growth rate of 13.3 per cent. The Commission is on track to achieving positive net profits in accordance with its three year action plan”.
Meanwhile, net losses were reduced from $5.1 billion in 2003/04 to $670 million, while company assets increased by some 168 per cent, moving from some $455 million to more than $1.2 billion. Revenue collection increased from $6.12 billion to $7.56 billion, representing a 23.7 per cent increase when compared to the prior financial period.
Major capital projects embarked on during the year under review were: the completion of the Great River/Lucea water supply project at a cost of US$40 million; the continuation of the three-year plan to rehabilitate water supply systems islandwide at a cost of more than $670 million; the Soapberry Wastewater project; the Kingston Metropolitan Area water rehabilitation and sanitation projects; and the completion of sewerage and drainage works in Port Antonio.
The NWC reported that the tariff review that was underway, “will be guided by a regulatory framework [which is] now in place. The current tariff regime ends December 2006, about the time when the three year action plan ends”.
The NWC said that as it continued to execute its various capital projects, “an emphasis is being placed on sound environmental practices in tandem with the demand for green products and technology”.