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Water tariff increase not solution—Cama

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Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama ) has called for major reforms in water boards, saying nothing positive will come out of the recent 52 percent increase in water tariffs if other problems were not addressed.

Cama Executive Director John Kapito said this in Blantyre Monday when all the country’s five water boards, under Water Services Association of Malawi (Wasama), signed commitments to improve service delivery following the hike in tariffs.

“No amount of water tariffs will fully address challenges Malawians face when accessing quality water. Malawians want complete reform; they want to be assisted on time when they report faults and they need full accountability from water boards on how they [water boards] use the revenue they collect because, out there, Malawians believe that water boards are some of the poorest non-performing public institutions.

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“Now that they have the tariff increase, this money is supposed to benefit consumers through quality service delivery,” Kapito said.

Blantyre Water Board (BWB), Southern Region Water Board, Lilongwe Water Board and Northern Region Water Board have since vowed to improve service delivery.

Among other things, the institutions have committed to be responding to faults and connecting applications within the shortest time possible.

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Wasama President, who is also BWB Chief Executive Officer Robert Hanjahanja, said the water boards had already made progress in improving service delivery.

“The tariffs adjustments we have received are not there to give us comfort, in terms of how we live, but these are there to help us operate better, more efficiently and to provide an excellent service to the population we are supposed to serve because, for a long time now, we have been operating at below cost,” Hanjahanja said.

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