EWRC Meets with SPWPBO Executive Members

EWRC Meets with SPWPBO Executive Members

 

On Thursday  3rd October  2019, the Commission  held a meeting  with  the Executive  of the Salone Water Packeters  and Bottling  Organization  (SPWPBO) and a number of  water producers on a  recent public notice by the organization  informing the  public of a  Le 1,000 increment in the price for a bundle of sachet water. 

 

In the meeting chaired by Commissioner Sahr Ngayenga, he explained  that the SPWPBO executive were summoned to the  said meeting  in reaction  to the recent press release and radio appearances by Max Jalloh, Public Relations  Officer of  the  organization. Mr. Ngayenga  went on to condemn members of  the executive  for such an  unlawful  act on the basis that the organization  did not follow the due processes as provided by the statutory  instrument  that gives the Commission  powers to approve  price for water  and  electricity  services.

 

According  to  the Vice President  of  the  organization  Amin Hudroge, the current  price of  Le 2,500  for the  sachet  water  has been  maintained  for over 10 years and in consideration  of  the steady increase in cost of  production  materials, the organization  thought  it  fit to increase  the  cost from Le 2,500 to Le 3,500 per bundle.

 

The Commission’s Director  General Emmanuel  Mannah  went on to point  out  relevant  sections of  the  SLEWRC  ACT  of 2011 that gives the Commission  powers to regulate, through  price  and quality, water  and  electricity  services  in Sierra  Leone  

 

It was on this basis that the organization  was therefore  warned not to proceed  with the illegal  price increase and as a way forward, was also requested to forward proposed cost, production  costs and other relevant  information to the Commission  for review  and possible  approval in the shortest period.

 

Chairlady of the  organization  Fanta Fofana appealed  to  the  Commission to  expedite the review process as according  to  her, a number of  producers are currently  going out of business as they are  finding it difficult  to  keep up with production  based on the current  price per bundle.

 

The Commission’s Legal Consultant Ibrahim Sorie Kamara cautioned producers to make provisions for the processes and timelines for price review as stipulated by the SLEWRC Act and to appropriately channel all concerns to the Commission on matters affecting the organization going forward.

 

In conclusion, the Commission’s Head of Water Department Ing. Michael Kargbo informed the meeting of the strides made by the Commission for a harmonized licencing and monitoring approach considered by Ministry of Health, Sierra Leone Standards Bureau and the Commission in collaboration with SPWPBO which would be rolled out by Wednesday 9th October 2019. He further highlighted that this harmonized approach would ensure an effective regulatory regime in the package water industry.

 

He reiterated the Commission’s willingness to review the current price of packaged water in the shortest possible time, upon submission of the said proposal by this organization.

 

 

 

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