Weak cash flow affects Northern Region Water Board pre-paid metre programme

Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) says despite making steady progress in new water supply system where some consumers pay bill through pre-paid metres, the institution still faces challenge to extend the pre-paid system mainly due to weak cash flow.

 NRWB prepaid meters
NRWB prepaid meters

NRWB introduced pre-paid meters in 2014 but almost two years after the introduction of the system which has covered the urban and the peri-urban areas in the northern region, the region’s water supplier has not been able to roll out the pre-paid system fully.

In an interview, NRWB Public Relations Officer Edward Nyirenda said despite the good progress of the service, there have been issues like non – payment of water bill especially by public institutions that impede on the progress.

Most public institutions are still on post paid system and incur huge arrears which subsequently affect plans NRWB has to improve on various aspects including procurement of essential equipment to expand the programme further.

“Most of public institutions do not pay the water bills in time due to the weak cash flow; this has slowed us down in procurement of essential equipment that would facilitate speedy implementation of planned strategies,” Nyirenda said.

The board has customer service charter with number strategies which aims at improving service delivery in line with public service reforms and Nyirenda said the water board is doing everything possible to surmount the challenges.

“Though we are facing such challenges we are making sure will deal with them,” Nyirenda said, adding that the water board will continue engaging government to find a lasting solution to some of the problems.

NRWB supply potable water to urban and peri-urban areas of northern region including Mzuzu, Nkhatabay, Mzimba, Karonga, Rumphi, Chitipa, Chilumba, Songwe, Chintheche and Ekwendeni as well as Likoma.

Recently, NRWB reportedly announced reduced of some tariffs not related to water consumption as one way of reducing pressure on consumers at the same encourage timely payment of water bills.

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