Govt owes SRWB K12.4 billion


Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) on Friday disclosed that government institutions owe it K12.4 billion in water bills.

This was revealed when Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa toured SRWB establishments in Zomba.

“I am concerned with the enormity of debts government institutions owe Southern Region Water Board (SRWB). Most of the government agencies such as health, prisons, Malawi Defence Force are not paying water bills which compromises operations,” said Nankhumwa.

He said the challenge SRWB was facing was common in many water boards such as Blantyre Water Board, Lilongwe Water Board, Central Region Water Board and Northern Region Water Board.

“Many water boards in the country have got common challenges as most government departments, agencies and ministries are not paying their water bills,” said Nankhumwa.

He said government allocates resources for water sectors in order to have very effective systems of water boards in the country.

Southern Region Water Board Chief Executive Officer, James Chitete told the minister on Friday after visiting SRWB offices and sites in Zomba that government institutions owe the board a total amount of K12. 4 billion.

Chitete said his board has put measures in place in collaboration with government to recover this money.

“To limit this problem we have introduced pre-paid system in which we are getting 60 percent to re pay for the loan and 40 percent to pay for the current token for water system,” he said.

He said the board has already started with Malawi Prison Services, hospitals, and education institutions and will then go to police and Malawi Defence Force.

During the familiarization tour, the minister visited Ndangopuma which the board has proposed as new office site, water treatment plant and then Mulunguzi Dam where SRWB takes water for its customers with a holding capacity of 3.3 million cubic litters.