Blantyre Water Board, consumers tussle over K13mil water bills

Namiyango-Chigumula Water Users Association (WUA) has accused Blantyre Water Board (BWB) of contributing to the K13 million water bills the association owes the board.

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Mpope! Mpope! Water users in Blantyre query bills

Chairperson for Namiyango-Chigumula WUA Dorothy House said although the association owns 74 kiosks, only five are supplying water in the community rocked by water challenges.Walkers-Ferry

She said despite some kiosks being dysfunctional, the board still issues bills for all kiosks.

“When Namiyango-Chigumula WUA took over from Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf) in 2008, there was an outstanding bill of K6 million. In 2016, the arrears have risen to K13 million.

“The board is failing to provide us water to sell to the public, but they still give us monthly bills. How can we pay them when we do not have water to sell?

“With only five kiosks functioning, the most we make per month is K150 000. That money is only enough for paying workers,” lamented House.

House was speaking last  Thursday at Nayizi Primary School in Namiyango during a meeting organised by Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama).

Cama partnered with international non-governmental organisation (NGO) Water for People to secure funding from Tilitonse Fund for implementing the Institution Strengthening Project for Water Users Associations (WUA) in peri-urban areas of Blantyre City.

In his remarks, BWB kiosk manager Francis Baluwa said the board is doing all it can to improve water supply in the area by, among other things, planting water tanks that will supply water in the area.

Cama projects officer Maurice Mkawihe said he was impressed with how the WUAs have handled the water supply issue in peri-urban areas of Blantyre.

He said Cama has integrated issues of governance, transparency and accountability to ensure that the water users benefit.

“However, they have been facing some challenges, especially on the side of advocacy. It seems they have not done much to inform people more about their operations,” he said.

The project seeks to strengthen existing WUAs through deliberate coalition building to enhance accountability and transparency in their service delivery and free them from political interference.

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