Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nothing is Free in Zambia, Pay for Water- Mwale
October 30, 2016
Lusaka Times

LOCAL government minister Vincent Mwale says nothing is for free in Zambia and people will have to pay for water services.

And Mwale says water utilities will experience challenges arising out of changes and ripples in the economy.

He said this when he opened the Copperbelt Water Operators Partnership fourth annual national seminar in Ndola yesterday.

” If you are not able to collect in time, all the bills that are sent out, cash flow problems set in, which in turn, impact on the ability to cover operating expenses and extend service coverage. There is nothing for free. People need to pay for water services,” Mwale said.

” So dialogue with your customers. Make them understand why they should pay for water. Delayed bill payments and huge arrears can greatly undermine your capacity to deliver water and provide sewerage services in that you depend on a constant stream of revenue from customers in order to survive.”

He said local councils should also involve water utilities when planning for new development areas.

” I wish to state here that government recognizes the difficulties that utility companies face in dealing with the problems of non-revenue water and serving low-income communities. It is a drain on your limited resources,” he said.

And Mwale said water utilities need to be innovative and to change with time.

” As water utilities you will experience challenges arising out of changes and ripples in the economy. Adapt quickly. Know that water is a service. Water is Life. Water is a right. You deal with a commodity that supports life,” he said.

Mwale further said Councillors should desist from being plot sellers.

Meanwhile, kafubu water and sewerage company managing director Athanasius Mwaba said the objective of the project was to contribute to better governance and management in the Zambian water sector.

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