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23.09.2005 Regional News

PURC receives 77 complaints from Western and Central Regions

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Sekondi, Sept. 23, GNA - Mr Daniel Denu Afropong, Western and Central Regional Manager of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), on Thursday said the Commission received 77 complaints from consumers between January and July this year, in the two regions. He said 44 complaints were against the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and 33 were against the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). Mr Afropong, who disclosed these to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sekondi on Thursday, said most of the complaints were in connection with unlawful disconnection, improper billing, frequent power outages, non-supply of water and electricity and delays in the provision of new services.

Other complaints were illegal connections, damaged meters and transformers and poor quality of water.

Mr Afropong said out of the complaints, 52 representing 67.5 per cent were resolved while the rest were under consideration. He appealed to the management of the GWCL and the ECG to cooperate with the PURC in finding amicable solutions to all the cases. Mr Afropong said although the PURC had been in operation since June 2003, it only had an office in Takoradi catering for the Western and Central Regions, which did not promote expeditious handling of complaints.

He said, however, that efforts were being made to open an office in Cape Coast for the Central Region.

Apart from settling complaints, the PURC also visited and enforced standards expected of utility providers, organised programmes to sensitise stakeholders through radio and television education aimed at promoting dialogue in the efforts to find solutions to complaints. He hinted that a new programme dubbed "Catch Them Young" a PURC schools sensitisation programme had been introduced in eight schools in the Western Region.

Mr Afropong said the programme had been educating the youth on the importance of the PURC, sensitised students on their rights and responsibilities and moulded the attitude of students in the efficient and judicious use of utilities in school and at home. He said through the programme a PURC Peer Educators Club would soon be inaugurated in the Western Region. 23 Sept. 05