The Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) officials in Karonga the northern part of Malawi have on Wednesday admitted that the newly established water billing system in the district has brought anomalies to their customers.
This follows the outcry that 95 percent of the NRWB customers in the district have been charged abnormal water bills this month.
For instance, a person who normally pays K13, 000 has been charged K39, 000 the month of August.
The development led Karonga District Commissioner (DC) Rosemary Moyo, to summon the NRWB officials at his office on Wednesday.
“The main aim of this meeting is to ask you the officials from NRWB here in the district to explain to the community as well as your customers why the water bills have abnormally risen this month,” said Moyo.
Karonga Youth for Justice Executive Director Steven Simsokwe asked the officials to disclose if the water bills have been hiked and whether there will be disconnections to those failing to pay the said bill.
Responding to the worries, the NRWB district Customer Service Supervisor Emanuel Khanje said this is because of the changes of their services.
“There are some changes in customer categorization and billing methods this month of August, thus why our customers experienced abnormal bills,” said Khanje.
According to him, an individual customer has been classified into three classes which include A, B and C.
“In class A are all residential houses with water in their homes and regardless of location or size and their price per cubic meter will be K750.50 per cubic meter. Class B consist houses used as dwelling houses and has just one standing tap where their price per cubic meter will be K550. 00 while class C comprise of communal water points and their price per cubic meter will be K400. 00 per cubic,” explained Khanje.
He therefore said a lot of customers in the district were wrongly categorized in class A this month thus why their bills were abnormal.
The NRWB has however, assured the Karonga residents that there will be no disconnections to customers failed to pay these abnormal water bills saying “they shall be credited to their September bills.”
Meanwhile, DC Moyo has asked the NRWB to make sure that this should not happened next month.
NRWB also embarked on the pre-paid water billing project.
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