Over K2m Owed In Unpaid Bills

Water PNG has reported that Moresby South villages and settlements owe more than K2 million in outstanding water bills up to March 2022.

Water PNG made this known in response to a media report, on Tuesday 10th May, relating to claims of ‘extortion and blackmail’ made by the Moresby South MP.

“As a State-owned company, Water PNG Limited (WPNGL) is responsible for delivering safe water and sanitation services to the citizens of Papua New Guinea,” it said in a statement.

“We confirm that Port Moresby South villages and settlement communities owe Water PNG a total of K2,000,227.40 in outstanding water bills up to March 2022.

“This outstanding payment covers 23 villages and settlements who are recipients of the community-based water service we provide, which falls under the Community Social Obligation (CSO), where we have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the respective district development authorities (DDA). 

“The claims by Justin Tkatchenko relate to a formal letter dated 9th March 2022 that was addressed to the Port Moresby South DDA Chief Executive Officer, advising of the outstanding water bills for the 23 villages and settlements in the electorate.

“In the letter, Water PNG did not state explicitly nor threaten to disconnect water supply to these communities. The letter was simply a reminder on the implications of water disconnection to people’s livelihood, as we requested their intervention to assist and pay some of the outstanding water bills.

“As such, the claims of ‘extortion and blackmail’ are untrue and misleading.

“We have written similar letters in the past to the Moresby South DDA and the Honourable MP dated 26th September 2017 and 17th October that same year.

“Water PNG has begun a ‘major water disconnection’ exercise in February 2022, but we are mindful of its (disconnection) impact on these large communities (villages and settlements), so these letters are only reminders for the respective DDAs and their local MPs to assist the communities in their electorates by intervening to pay some of these outstanding water bills.

“These large communities have water committees and the respective DDAs have representatives in those committees.

“There are 160 communities in Port Moresby that are receiving water supply service from Water PNG under the MoU arrangement. These communities owe Water PNG more than K13.6 million in unpaid water bills and outstanding payments.”

Press Release