Water tariff to be hiked

Water boards in the country have finally been authorised to raise water tariff as the proposal was put on hold three months ago.

The implementation of the hike as requested by the country’s five water boards was suspended due to the issue of cholera.

Director of Water Supply Services, Emma Mbalame, confirmed the development on Wednesday when she appeared before the Parliamentary Committee of Budget and Finance.

Ralph Jooma

Mbalame said there was need to hike water tariff failing which water boards would collapse. She added that the implementation of the new figures will be done during the first quarter of the 2023/2024 fiscal year after gazetting them.

“As government, a decision has been made that we hike the tariff knowing the challenges that the water boards are facing. Otherwise these water boards are going to collapse and we will have no water in various areas,” said Mbalame.

The boards sought the hike arguing that operational and production costs had risen significantly.

Chairperson for the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament who is also Member of Parliament for Mangochi Monkey-Bay, Ralph Jooma, said the hike was justified for the sustainability of the boards.

“This is an issue that was discussed in cabinet and cabinet approved. It was postponed because of the issue of cholera but now I think it is due. As a committee of Budget and Finance, we think cost reflective water tariff is important for the sustainability of the water boards. But that has to be done cautiously considering that people are also struggling with finances at the moment,” remarked Jooma.

An average water tariff of 52% was last implemented on 1st November, 2021.

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