By Nation Reporter
SOME water consumers in North-Western Province are defaulting on their bills with many owing the water utility company a total of K20 million.
The debt is from both government institutions and domestic customers.
In a statement issued yesterday and made available to the Daily Nation, North-Western Water and Sewerage Company managing director Arnott Chilwesa said out of the K20 million owed to the company, Government institutions owe the utility company a total of K13 million. “Despite being owed huge sums of money, as a firm we have gone out of the way to borrow money from the financial market at very high interest rates to procure standby generators from Germany and also upgrading production and storage facilities. The project is expected to be completed in third quarter of 2016,” Mr Chilwesa said.
He said because of the huge debt, the company decided to procure standby generators for emergency supply at its facilities to ensure water supply is not interrupted during Zesco load shedding.
Mr Chilwesa, however, said the company had embarked on a debt recovery campaign to ensure the money owed to the water utility company was collected to ease the cost of operations.
He said the company had since engaged Zesco to provide independent feeder lines to its facilities.
“All these projects require enough funds, so under this project the company is now sourcing funds from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to finance this critical project,” Mr Chilwesa said.
He said the water utility firm had suffered from increased cost of operations due to the depreciation of the Kwacha which had translated into the company owing its suppliers and service providers more money than in the past.
Mr Chilwesa however assured its customers that the company was doing everything possible to deliver the best services as mandated.
He also appealed to politicians in the province to stop politicising the erratic water supply situation in the district.