Customer locks up Lilongwe Water Board employee over water disconnection

The Lilongwe Water Board, which supplies piped-water to residents in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe and surrounding areas, says it is deeply concerned with the conduct of its customers who are harassing its field personnel currently undertaking a disconnection exercise in the capital city.

This follows an incident where one of the employees of the utility body was locked inside a perimeter fence in Area 28 where he had gone to disconnect water due to unpaid bills.

The board has since warned all customers that it is against the Waterworks Bylaws to obstruct its personnel from in the line of their duty.

“Once such a case has been reported and verified, the Board shall uproot its water connection from such a customer. The Board will not hesitate to apply its Bylaws against such customers.locked

“Connection shall only be restored upon full payment of the water bill and reconnection fee,” reads the statement issued by the Board.

The statement further warns water users who are connecting water illegally or by-passing the meter.

“Once discovered, customers are being warned that they shall be prosecuted for a criminal offence by the Police,” warns the utility board.

In another development, residents in the commercial of city Blantyre owe the city council about K2 billion in city rates.

The insufficient collection to revenue within the city has crippled the council’s service delivery, according Blantyre City Council chief executive officer, Ted Nandolo.

The council requires K2 billion every year for its operation, but the annual revenue collection is always below the needed amount.

“Out of K2 billion needed, government pays about three percent of it. So, this means 95 percent of the total money should come from revenue collection.

“Last financial year we realized K1.1 billion from revenue collection, but for the past years the council has been collecting K500 million or K600 million because of people’s reluctance to pay city rates.

“With this development, how do you expect the council to perform its duties effectively as it is supposed to?” wondered Nandolo.

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