Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Government to address challenges being faced by water utility companies


A tripartite engagement with Ministries of Energy and Finance as well as Water Development,Sanitation and Environmental Protection, has been constituted aimed at addressing water and sanitation challenges being faced by water utility companies.

Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Minister Dr Jonas Chanda has disclosed that the meeting which was called by President Edgar Lungu aims to address various challenges been faced by utility companies in a multi sectoral approach.

Dr Chanda announced this when he paid a courtesy call on Northern Province Minister Hon Chungu Bwalya and assured that government wants to remove barriers that affect provision of good water supply and sanitation by understanding the challenges and finding long term solutions.

He said the tripartite engagement will promote an integrated approach that will address indebtedness,tariff issues and funding among the utility companies in order to see how best they can be capacitated to help government attain the vision 2030 of universal acess to clean and safe water.

Dr Chanda said government wants to ensure that all the money owed to utility companies is settled in order to sustain their operations and further pleaded with consumers to play their part in paying for water bills as he encouraged for establishment of flexible payment plans in the wake of economic challenges as a result of COVID-19.
And Dr Chanda who is on a familiarization tour of Muchinga,Luapula and Northern Provinces has urged water utility companies to change their business models that will help them diversify and be able to supplement governments efforts in ensuring that they remain viable.

The Minister was responding to a presentation done by Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director Mr Luckson Simumba who highlighted various operational challenges among them non-payment of water bills by consumers.

“Water utility companies are suppose to expand their portfolios such as enter into other ventures and initiatives such as power generation, consultation services,bottling companies, water treatment manufacturing industries”Dr Chanda said and thanked Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company for making innovative strides to promote self sustainability.

Mr Simumba informed Dr Chanda that the water utility company is implementing various projects such as setting up a bottling plant, chlorine production, power generation among other to which the Minister thanked them and extended an invitation to the utility company to make a presentation on their various innovations and development models to other utility companies in order to adopt such innovative solutions to promote industrial growth and self sustainability.

And Northern Province Minister Hon Bwalya Chungu expressed confidence that many water challenges in the province will be addressed with the various water and sanitation projects being implemented in the province.

  1. The water and sewarage sectors lacks clearly defined policy from government. These things are planned properly not overnight or through wishful thinking. The people who run these companies are more interested in salaries first and the perks they get from the job full stop. Zambia is one of the countries with the highest percentage of fresh water in Africa. What the country needs is proper investment in the sector to ensure sustainability and access to fresh clean water for all. The mushrooming of boreholes and soakaway is an evironmental disaster waiting to happen. If you can’t do it yourselves, bring in experts to assist or send your people on training to bring in fresh ideas, not just pointing aimlessly at costly ventures aimed at offsetting your inability to think.

  2. This Minister is now all over the place, looks like this Ministry has just been created. Is this a case of new broom sweeps clean. He is just way too much in our face in an cindelella Ministry

  3. The reason water utilities were established was to increase their efficiency through the granted autonomy but that hasn’t been achieved so there’s need to revisit the whole policy.

  4. The reason water utilities were established was to increase their efficiency through the granted autonomy but that hasn’t been achieved so there’s need to revisit the whole policy.

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