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Man, 33, jailed 15 months for stealing GWCL meters

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The T.D.C Magistrate Court in the Greater Accra Region’s Tema metropolis convicted a 33-year-old jobless squatter to 15 months in jail for stealing water meters in the Tema Region.

On December 24, 2023, Richard Afful was detained for the first time by Tema Community 11 Police in Tema Community 12.

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He was charged with two charges of stealing water meters, stopcocks, and non-return valves, as well as causing damage in the process.

The accused was taken before the T.D.C. Magistrate Court on January 4, 2024, presided over by H/W Mrs. Benedicta Antwi.

The accused pled guilty to all charges and was later convicted. The sentence consists of 12 months in jail on count one, three months in prison on count two, and a fine of GH¢10,000.

In the event that payment is not made, an extra four months’ imprisonment is imposed, with all terms running concurrently.

In an interview with JoyNews, Sampson Ampah, Communications Manager for the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the Tema region, highlighted the growing threat of meter stealing in the region.

He revealed that 280 water meters were taken in the fourth quarter of 2023 alone.

Mr Ampah offered a summary of meter theft in the region over the previous three months, noting the districts affected and the amount of stolen meters.

“In the last quarter alone, this is the breakdown of meters stolen in the region. Gbetseli District 30, Batsonaa District 30, Sakumono District 47, Kpong-Akuse District 25, Ada District 10, Prampram District 35, Tema Industrial District 16, Ashaiman West District 80, Santor District 2 and Tema Central District 5 and other areas. All put together, you’re talking about 280 meters within the period and these meters are very expensive.”

Addressing the aftermath of meter theft, Mr Ampah explained the challenges faced by the company and said, “The painful aspect is that when customers report the missing meters to the police and are given police extracts, we have to replace these meters free of charge.

“You can equally imagine the volume of water that will be gushing out when these meters are stolen, which also comes as a cost to the company.”

When asked about measures being taken to address the issue, Mr Ampah outlined ongoing efforts, including “arrangements with customers to protect replaced meters by using metal cages and concreting the sides.

“Additionally, collaboration with security agencies is underway to investigate and trace the source of scrap dealers involved in selling stolen meters.”

In conclusion, Mr. Ampah stated, “When we get to the source where these items are sold, it will also help us engage with them to understand the reality of the situation.”

 

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