DOWASCO’s Chairman defends rate increase as necessary


Louis Patrick Hill

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASCO) Louis Patrick Hill has assured the Dominican public that the increase in the water rates is not for profit, but to meet the cost of running the business.

He made the statement while addressing a press conference held at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room on Wednesday.

In fact, he stated that DOWASCO is currently in the position of needing revenue, additional resources, in order to manage the company and to provide water to all of the residents of Dominica which is a mandate of the government.

The increase will come into effect on June 1 2024.

“We want to say to you and to everyone listening that this rate increase is not something that we have just decided overnight, that DOWASCO needs a rate increase, so let’s just raise the rates on water,” he said. “This is something that we have been struggling with and contemplating for the last three years. The company has been really having significant financial difficulties.”

Hill continued, “So, to the customers, who are listening, we want to say that we understand this is going to create some difficulty financially.”

Hill said the company has tried its very best in collaboration with the government to keep the increase to a minimum.

“We are not making a profit, we are not trying to put a lot of money into the bank, we just simply need to meet the cost of running the business, because if we do not meet the cost of running the business then at the end of the day it is the consumer who is going to suffer,” he noted. “Because we will not be able to respond in emergencies, when equipment fails, we won’t be able to replace it, when pipes break, we won’t be able to fix them and our employees will be unhappy and the entire country will be unhappy.”

Following the increase, Hill noted that if the company has more revenue than it requires for its operation, “then just as we have asked for a rate increase, we will ask for a rate decrease.”

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  1. We Know Better
    May 19, 2024

    There is no need for that kind of massive rate hike. After running things into the ground in the Virgin Isles desert that he didn’t have the capacity to help fix, this guy is here to tell us we are not paying enuff for water. Of all things, WATER 💧 where he has no experience as they failed basic water provision in St. Thomas.
    If you are not a business manager, you lack those skills, no amount of party affiliation will help him fix this. So he goes for the throat, rate hike! 💰

  2. May 5, 2024

    dowasco. what a shame. under the united worker party, the kalinago received a grant free water, funded by the European union, dowasco got paid in full to do that project, yet they are billing the kalinago people for water that they got paid to do. the government of dominica promised to do something about that water crisis, yet nothing has been done, pls bring back the European union water, or else the the European union will have to press charges, for violating an agreement made to the kalinago people.

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  3. Water is life Pure and clean
    May 4, 2024

    I have not reviewed the rate increase, but I, like many Dominicans, would not like an increase in any bill. While we understand an increase may be needed for operational expenses, were any figures divulged? Information is important to show the need for such. The average person needs to see/understand Dowasco’s financial reality. Water must be an affordable basic necessity to the nation and we also must learn to conserve. At the very least, a simple Dear customer eFlyer summary, showing figures for perhaps 10 years up to present, with annual expenses, staff costs & revenue. It must also show investments, subsidies, grants received and source of funding with any other relevant detail. This could be emailed with bills, or by post for other customers, fb, whatsApp. Simple please. I do remember Dowasco staff restored water in some communities as fast as 8 days after Cat 5 hurricane Maria in 2017, Kudos. Moving on. Water must remain affordable to all.

    May 3, 2024

    “The company has been really having significant financial différentes “. Why has this been ?
    “Then just as we have asked for a rate increase, we will ask for a rate decrease “. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Mr Hill, during your existence in Dominica, have you ever experienced a company/business that has asked for a rate decrease ??? C’mon don’t insult my intelligence, PLEASE. :idea: :idea: :lol:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2
  5. Bwa-Banday
    May 3, 2024

    The heat is on so you all bringing out the big guns I see. STOP the nonsense and give the people a darn break! The DLP must honor the promise made to the Kalinago by paying their delinquent water bills and have those people in the apartments without titles pay all their outstanding bills. Remember I say the DLP and not the Government. This is simply to have the remainder of us pay for those campaign promises and recklessness of the DLP Cabal as they try to remain in office.

    Please people stand together for what is right because you have the might when united!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3
  6. ce ca
    May 3, 2024

    The increase is much needed as we all understand, however such a drastic amount especially for large businesses is ridiculous. $800 monthly (or $9600) is a very big sum of money. an increase in the rate per gallon would have been much better as everybody thought it was going to be. People are already living hand to mouth in this place no increase in salary but the PM saying “we can afford it” like everybody millionaire like him. SMH

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    • David
      May 5, 2024

      The PM is the wealthiest in the caribbean. Yet the dominican people are payed the lowest wages. Dominicans keep supporting nonesense and they are finding out.

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  7. Roger Burnett
    May 3, 2024

    DOWASCO will never be able to meet the cost of running the business while its planning and investment strategies remain seriously flawed. I cite as an example, the millions spent on the non-functional first filtration plant at Antrim.

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    • Galileo
      May 5, 2024

      Very well said. However, you forget the many highly paid, unqualified and unproductive members of staff. I have tried to raise the alarm for years but this platform always muzzles me. But truth crushed to earth must rise again and with severe consequences, I must add.

  8. sia
    May 3, 2024

    I understand that fees are increasing everywhere but $800. for a large business???? They already pay a higher rate for water and for each lavatory that they have. Not to mention they allow the public to use their bathroom facilities knowing that there are not many public convivences available. This country is really trying to kill the private sector businesses.

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  9. A m...P m
    May 3, 2024

    So it has started…then domlec…soon flow…then digicel…then it trickle down…this government gave a minimum wage..then they took their huge increase…doing absolutely nothing…lazy bunch talking set of rubbish everyday…going china singing garbage…worthless…then they have the struggling man to pay more…this bunch of vagabonds. .your time will come…none thinkers….all they can do is to increase rates….

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