Malawi water boards hike tariffs, Cama worried

The country’s consumers should expect to spend more on water usage as the country’s five water boards have hiked their tariffs with the proposed increments pending the minister’s endorsement.

According to documents which Nyasa Times has sourced, the water boards namely Northern Region Water Board (NRWB), Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), Central Region Water Board (CRWB), Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) and Blantyre Water Board (BWB) have hiked their water tariffs with an  average of 35 percent.

The new tariffs which were expected to come into effect by August 1st are currently waiting for the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Allan Chiyembekeza’s endorsement.

Kapito: Cause for worry
Kapito: Cause for worry

Executive Director for Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama), John Kapito has described the proposal as punitive.

“The board is planning to increase the water tariffs at a time when their services are not good. This is too terrible and unfair to the consumer.

“We will initiate a meeting with the minister to convince him not to sign the proposal. It is punitive to the consumer who is not getting good services at the moment.”

The water boards argued that they decided to hike the tariffs which are in accordance to Section 56 of Waterworks Act, to facilitate efficient operations and maintenance due to rising operating costs.

In the proposed tariffs, Lilongwe Water Board is expected to be  charging its domestic customers a minimum of K760.00 (in excess of 10 cubic metres), institutional customers (in excess of 30 metres) K675.00 while commercial and industrial customers will be paying K750 in excess of 40 cubic metres. For bulk water sales per cubic metre to Bunda is at flat rate of K183.00.

Central Region Water Board has hiked water tariffs for individual customer (consumption up to 4 cubic metres per month) from K474.00 to K568.79 representing 20% increase, institutional customers (consumption up to 4 cubic metres per month) from K2, 882.75 to K3,891.71 representing 35 percent increase.

Commercial and industrial customers in central region will be paying- once the minister endorses- K3,144.82 for consumption up to 4 cubic metres per month to K4, 245.51. Communal water points have been hiked from K62.15 to K74.58.

CRWB has hiked the service charges from K88.88 to K106.66 for the traditional housing areas and high density, institutional customers from K1,441.38 to K1,945.86, and commercial and industrial customers from K1,572.41 to K2,122.75.

BWB has hiked its tariffs for domestic customers (for the first 5,000 litres or part thereof, per month) K1,446.40 (rate applicable from 0 and above 40, 00 litres) K0.40.

For institutional customers (For the first10,000 litres or part thereof per month) from K5,188.80 to K5,707.68 (rate applicable from 0 and above 40,000 litres) K0.62.

Blantyre Commercial customers will be paying from (for the first 10,000 litres or part thereof per month) K5,825.49 to K6,408.04, and industrial customers from K7,886.13 to K8,674.74 (for the first 10,000
litres or part thereof per month).

Northern region domestic water consumers (high density areas) are expected to be paying K750.65 for the first 3 cubic metres per month and in excess of 6 cubic metres (per cubic metre) K208.35. Medium density areas customers will be paying K869.26 for the first 3 cubic metres per month and in excess of 6 cubic metres K241.28 while low density areas customers will be paying K993.47 for the first 3 cubic metres per month and in excess of 6 cubic metres K275.76.

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