NKANA Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) is to spend US$200 million on the expansion of the water system to new areas in Kitwe and also to replace dilapidated water infrastructure which has been adversely affecting service delivery.

NWSC managing director Diana Makwaba said she was pleased that Government had approved the funding of US$200 million in order to implement phase two of the Nkana Water Supply and Sanitation Project which would address, among other things, water production to cater for the increasing demand owing to the growing population and the overhauling of the old water and sewer networks.

On January 6,  during the meeting with councillors and NWSC management, Local Government Minister Stephen Kampyongo commended the Nkana water management for the good work it was doing and said Government would source for money to improve   its service delivery.

Ms Makwaba said in an interview at Moba Hotel yesterday during the NWSC strategic plan workshop for stakeholders that with Government support and commitment, the water utility company would set the stage for quality service delivery to its customers.

“The funding has been done between the Government and the funders, the funds are available and we will very soon start the work. We will target the new development areas in Kitwe and also rehabilitating the dilapidated infrastructure which has been a challenge to improving water and sewerage services to our customers,” Ms Makwaba said.

And speaking earlier during the official opening of the workshop, NWSC vice board chairperson Julia Chaila said the phase two of the project would also include the expansion of water works in Kitwe, and the extension of water and sewer networks in new development areas.

“The project will also address the installation of water transmission mains and distribution networks, the replacement of collapsed sewerage pipes and the installation of prepaid meters. It is envisaged that the project would be undertaken within a period of four years, commencing this year, 2016,” Ms Chaila said.

She however expressed concern at some of the challenges NWSC was facing which included low meter coverage, an overloaded sewage system, vandalism of infrastructure installations, high customer arrears in unpaid bills, illegal connections, pollution of raw water sources and of late, power outages especially at distribution centres.

“As we strive to break the legacy of deficiencies in the provision and supply of water and sanitation services, we can therefore not afford to rely on old systems that expose our water supply to an unacceptable risk of failure.

“We have to upgrade our infrastructure which unfortunately is being vandalized on daily basis. Further, significant capital investment is required to make improvements to our water supply capacity, quality and reliability,” she said.

In order to address all the challenges facing the water utility company, Ms Chaila said a number of investment cycles needed to be implemented while focusing on critical projects.

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