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Northern Region Water Board proposes water regulatory formation

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Mark Botomani

By Wezzie Gausi

The Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has said the country needs a body to regulate water supply services in the country.

NRWB acting Chief Executive Officer Francis Munthali said it is sad that the water sector does not have a regulatory body.

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He said setting up the body will help to regulate issues of standard and water tariff.

“In absence of this regulator things are not moving the way they are supposed to. Having a regulator will help the sector in making speedy decisions regarding water issues.

“We will be presenting our petition on the same to parliament and it is our hope that something should be done as soon as possible so as people in the country are able to enjoy safe and clean water at the same time the utility bodies should be able to make profits and sustain itself,” Munthali said.

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Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Pac) Chairperson Mark Botoman said the country already has a Water Resources Authority at the moment.

He said NRWB is proposing another authority that should be looking at water supply, unlike the Water Resources Authority which has a different mandate.

“We will be engaging different stakeholders to map the way forward on the proposed issue by the board. What NRWB is proposing is sensible as the regulator will be able to help the boards quickly in decision making,” Botoman said.

Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee of Parliament Chairperson Werani Chilenga said the regulator is indeed needed as soon as possible.

However, he was of the view that the regulator should be formulated in a way that it will monitor both water and electricity like in other countries.

“What the board is saying is a welcomed development, we needed the regulator as of yesterday. As a committee we are ready to support the formulation of the regulator,” Chilenga said.

Recently, the Ministry of Water and Sanitation asked the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate to implement the second phase water tariff increment.

The proposed water tariff hike follows another tariff hike the country’s water boards implemented on November 1, last year, averaging 52 percent.

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