The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development says Blantyre Water Board (BWB) is successfully implementing the reform programmes President Peter Mutharika approved this year.
The Board in October this year started implementing seven key specific reform programmes submitted to the Public Service Reform Commission.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza said among the key issues the Board was tasked to implement before January is the introduction of mobile billing; fast tracking the implementation of prepaid water meters and introducing a leak detection system.
He said the Board has so far successfully done that.
“We are looking at efficiency. So, when we talk of efficiency as part of the reforms, it means the system that is supplying water has also got to be efficient. In order to achieve that, that’s why you have seen a lot of digging replacing the old pipes with the new ones,” he said.
BWB Acting Chief Executive, Henry Bakuwa, said the 45,000 customers BWB has in Blantyre will in the next three months have instant bills through a mobile billing system.
“On part of the Board, we are going to improve our service delivery in the sense that instead of delivering bills late to the customer, the customer will have information [instantly after billing through hand-held equipments]. So, we’ll not have to panic sending bills at the end of the month,” he said.
Bakuwa said BWB would like to reduce non-revenue water from 36 percent to 25 percent, adding that this will increase accessibility of more water to the customer, hence generating more revenue.
“BWB has invested in some equipment and in training [plumbers] trying to detect these leaks through the equipments that we have acquired as a Board,” he said.
Bakuwa also said the plumbers have been trained to detect even underground leaks.
“As part of the reforms, Bangwe water supply system was approved by the President. What we are saying today is that in the next month, they will have their own dedicated water supply,” Bakuwa said.
He said, previously, Bangwe residents were sharing a water pipeline with Catholic University in Chiradzulu.
For a long time, Blantyre residents have gone weeks or months without access to BWB water.
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