The Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has revealed that it is losing about K1.4 billion annually to illegal connections which has been on the increase.
Meanwhile, the company has together with Malawi police embarked on campaign to apprehend those involved in the illegal connections.
LWB’s assistant Public Relations Officer, Maurice Nkawihe told Nyasa Times that about 20 illegal connection cases are reported monthly resulting in about K120 million worth of water used by the culprits.
“The trend is affecting our operations because every year we are losing a lot of money which we could use to develop our systems for improved services,” explained Nkawihe.
Nkawihe said that the malpractices are undermining the Board’s efforts to supply its customers with potable water 24/7.
He could not confirm or deny that such malpractices are perpetuated by the Board’s employees.
He said: “As a Board, we are investigating who is involved in these illegal connections because we think it cannot only be our employees but perhaps also former employees and even those that have knowledge of plumbing- these days we have technical colleges that offer such courses.”
Nkawihe said meanwhile the board has increased the money it gives to those who provide accurate information that leads to the arrest of those involved in illegal connections from K200,000 to K300,000.
“We are urging Malawians of good will to come forward and help us end this problem by providing us with information that can help to apprehend those involved in this malpractice.”
Recently, several institutions have been penalized by the Board after being found to have connected water illegally.
The institutions include Malawi Congress Party (MCP) which was slapped with K106 million penalty; Pacific Village which is owned by Pacific Group Properties in Area 9, and Central Medical Stores Trust Warehouse in Area 6 owned by Manobec Limited- the two were fined K1.5 million each apart other charges.
LWB apart from charging penalties as prescribed and mandated by its by-laws, is currently treating all discovered cases of illegal connections or water theft as criminal acts and are being prosecuted as such through the relevant law enforcement organs of Government.
Illegal water connections relate to unmetered water that is stolen through an act of by-passing the Board’s water meter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :