Some Chavuma residents have rejected the proposed average of 5 to 14 percent increment on water tariffs which the North-Western Water Supply and Sanitation Company (NWWSSC) is planning to implement.
The residents argue that the water utility company in the district does not provide sustainable water supply to its clients.
During a NWWSSC consultative meetings with customers yesterday, one of the residents, Rex Chalata opposed the increment arguing that the firm does not provide a sustainable water supply according to its mission statement.
“As I make my submission, I wish to oppose the increment of water tariffs. The reason is that your firm increased the tariffs a few years ago but we never saw any tangible changes in the supply of water and service delivery. What is the guarantee now that we will see changes in its operations,’’ Mr. Chalata asked.
Another customer, Chivunda Sakayi accused water metre readers of entering figures that are different from what is obtaining on actual meter readings.
Sakayi argued that most residents have experienced circumstances where the meter readers give them ‘incorrect bills’ when water is not supplied in their areas.
“It is unfair that the company has continued to charge us money when we only receive water for about one to two hours in a day and mostly at night,” Mr. Sakayi said.
Chavuma District Commissioner, Phelospher Chandamali has since urged the water utility company to embrace its vision, mission and core values.
Mr. Chandamali said the proposal can only be considered if the firm increases its water storage capacity.
“The current water tank is failing to cater for the 600 customers and as long as the current tank is small and not meeting the demand to supply water, it is ineffective,” he said.
And Chavuma District Administrative Officer, Kenny Mungendenge thanked the utility firm for engaging the stakeholders and advised it to consider all the highlighted challenges faced by the customers.
However, the North-Western Water Supply and Sanitation Company (NWWSSC) has defended its proposed water tariffs increment saying the move would enable it to meet various operational costs, address high inflation and increase demand for water.
NWWSSC Managing Director, Happy Musumali said there was need to increase water tariffs to enable the water utility firm to meet various operational costs and increase water supply.
“The company does not meet its operations and maintenance costs hence failing to improve its services to the customers. The increase in tariff will therefore, help the company improve service delivery,” Rev. Musumali said.
He however promised to take all the considerations that were raised during the meeting and table them before his team.
Rev. Musumali also assured the stakeholders that the increment will only be effected if the regulator, the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) approves the proposal.
According to NWASCO guidelines, all water utility companies should hold consultative meetings before effecting tariff adjustments.