CSO network, parley committee propose regulation for water industry

Water, Environment and Sanitation-Network (WES-Net) and the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change have proposed that a public institution should be set up to regulate water tariffs in the country.

WES-Net Chairperson Kate Harawa told Nyasa Times on Wednesday that a regulatory body would help water boards to operate properly and work on full cost recovery as well.

Wes-Net Chairperson, Kate Harawa

“Having a regulatory body in place the boards will be able to use the tariffs to provide good services to the customers,” he said.

She said the body would be using an automated adjustment just like what the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) uses.

Harawa added that there would be no political interference in tariff adjustment if the regulator were established.

Currently, she said, the boards awaits from government to give them a node when they want to raise tariffs.

The last time water boards raised their tariffs was in 2018.

Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate change, Werani Chilenga, agreed for the need to have a regulatory body for water boards in the country.

“This is the best way if we are to sustain the survival of our water institutions,” Chilenga said.

It is common practice in other countries to have a regulatory body and that Malawi should not left behind, he said

He said water boards have been struggling to adjust upward their water tariffs yet some of them were on the verge of collapsing like the Blantyre Water Board.

The board pays ESCOM K1.2billion per month against a total revenue collection of K1.3 billion, “If there was a regulator that would not happen,” he said.

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