The Ghana Hotels Association has questioned government over its insistence not to allow commercial facilities to benefit from its temporary Free Water support to Ghanaians.
Government in the mid-year budget review presented by the Finance Minister last week, extended the free water to Ghanaians for three more months in a bid to cushion people from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chairman of the Greater Accra Branch of the Ghana Hotels Association, Benjamin Afunya, told Citi Business News hotels must also benefit from the intervention.
“Our hotels have been issued with bills. We are paying for water and it has become a worry. We are pleading with government. At least they should act upon our complaints because it is affecting our operations as we wash our hands every day to help curb the spread of the virus. We also clean our environment every day. It is really affecting us,” he said.
The Hospitality and tourism sector is one of the most affected sectors especially due to restrictions on public gathering and closure of borders.
Though government is gradually easing restrictions, the sector is yet to make gains.
In Accra for instance, some hotels have laid-off workers in order to stay in business.
The industry is expected to benefit from the 600 million cedis stimulus package set aside by government to support Small and Medium Enterprises.
They are also benefiting from a nine-million-dollar facility solely meant to help SMEs in the industry.
The facility will be disbursed in two parts – four million dollars to support tourism sites and destinations development, and five million dollars for tourism enterprise support for SMEs within the tourism value chain.
The facility is from the World Bank under the Tourism Development Project.
Order GWCL to stop billing us – Hotels beg Gov’t for ‘Free Water’
Earlier this year, the Ghana Hotels Association asked the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, to expedite discussions to get the Ghana Water Company Limited to stop charging its members for water they consumed for the months of April, May and June.
They stated that the continuous imposition of the tariffs is draining the meager revenue of its members at a time when business is slow and government has offered free water for consumers for at least three months.