Programmes manager for Kalondolondo, Jephter Mwanza has rated Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) and Water board poor in execution of their services and emphasizing there are a number of issues that needs to be sorted out.
Speaking during water and electricity services assessment review meeting at Sun and Sand Holiday Resort in Mangochi, Mwanza said according to the findings there so many issues to be sorted out by the two companies.
For instance, Mwanza said it was revealed during the meeting that Malawians are concerned when it comes to electricity and water connections in their houses and even institutions.
“People wait like forever with some taking two years before they can actually connect to water or electricity. This is a major concern people have registered,” said Mwanza.
Mwanza said another revelation during the assessment meeting was that bills from the two companies to their consumers are not well calculated.
For example, he said in certain cases bills are not presented to the people as some institutions have been paying the same bills all over again.
He also said in certain areas people complained that meter readers do not come to collect meter readings yet bills come out every month.
“There is a lot of suspicious among people. Most of the times when you do not have water for a period of two weeks and persistent blackouts people questioned why the bills are still almost the same,” Mwanza said.
He however, said there is need for communication mechanism between the two companies to their consumers.
He said, currently there is no clear channels of communication especially when consumers have complaints to the two companies.
“In the districts is even worse because they do not divulge any information. They say you have to go through Public Relations Officer. How accessible is the PRO to all Malawians. A PRO is just a person and it is not possible for all the people within the catchment area to be talking to one person,” said Mwanza.
On the way forward, Mwanza said there is need to brought Escom and Water board back to the people in terms of communicating on their intentions, blackouts or water dry outs and coming up with measures that will sustain people’s access to these utilities.
He said the next step after the assessment meeting is to have an interface with Escom and Water board to discuss the issues and come up with a solution to end water dry outs and electricity blackouts.
The Kalondolondo programme is a Civil Society Community Based Monitoring CBM) where communities are trained to assess the levels of service delivery by the government within their communities. These services range from economic, social, health, agriculture, infrastructure development and even education.
Kalondolondo Programme, a consortium of three organizations namely, Council for Non – Governmental Organizations’ in Malawi, Plan Malawi and Action Aid.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :