Blantyre Water Board to improve services  – PRO

Blantyre Water Board (BWB) is determined to improve its services despite incurring monthly losses of K48 million, says BWB Public Relations Officer, Priscilla Mateyu.

Mateyu: Vandalism on water infrastructure is big problem
Mateyu: Vandalism on water infrastructure is big problem

Mateyu attributed the losses to illegal connections and vandalism.

Mateyu was speaking at Naotcha School in the city at a community promotional meeting on water governance project that Genesis Manja Othandiza (GEMO) organized to empower local communities to monitor service delivery at ward level.

She said illegal connections and vandalism of BWB facilities had become a common trend in many residential areas in Blantyre, a development that she said was making the board to struggle to provide  services to its customers.

“To get water from Walker’s Ferry, we don’t use gravity. We pump this water and that means paying electricity bills and for your information, electricity tariffs have gone up twice this month.

“As a result, the money we are making is not enough to offset the expenses we incur on electricity as well as maintaining and replacing vandalized BWB facilities,” Mateyu said.

“Imagine we are losing K48 million monthly due to illegal connections and vandalism. This money could have been used for the improvement of our services and provide efficient services to our customers.”

Mateyu, however, said despite the loss of K48 million, BWB would soon launch an ambitious project in Mulanje Mountain to ease the problem of water shortage in Blantyre and surrounding areas.

“The project will be launched soon in Mulanje and an Indian bank will fund it, meaning money is already there,” she said, adding that the project would mainly focus on Likhubula River and cost USD3.5 million.

She said BWB was also thinking of establishing an intake along the Shire River close to Walkers Ferry to ease the water problem in the city.

“It is going to be a water treatment site that will enable us to have enough treated water ready for distribution,” Mateyu said.

In her remarks, guest of honour at the event, GEMO managing director, Fatima Mauluka, appealed to people to report to relevant authorities any illegal connections and any vandalism of BWB facilities.

“Let us be responsible by reporting to BWB any activities that are associated with illegal connections, vandalism as well as pipe bursts,” Mauluka said.

BWB has been rewarding people who report incidents of vandalism and illegal connections with sums of K20,000 and K30,000 respectively.

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