ABOUT K254 billion was invested in the water sector in 2011 by Government and other cooperating partners to improve water supply by utility companies in Zambia.
This is according to the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Report for 2011 and 2012 released in Lusaka yesterday.
According to the report, Zambia needed about K969 billion to overhaul the dilapidated infrastructure countrywide.
The K254 billion was pumped in to rehabilitate water infrastructure around the country which was in a deplorable state and insufficient for the increasing population.
The dilapidated infrastructure that most utility companies were using was posing a challenge to water supply to customers countrywide.
"The need therefore, for more investment in the sector cannot be over emphasised. Sanitation services coverage also continues to lag behind," the report said.
On the challenges that utility companies face to supply water to customers, the report highlighted power outages, low revenue collections particularly from Government institutions and high water losses.
On the positive aspect amidst the challenges, the report indicated that the sector average for unaccounted for water, water quality, metering ratio, hours of supply, water and sanitation coverage all showed positive progression.
"Notable among them was the increase in the population serviced with water, increase in metering ratio which contributed significantly towards the reduction of non revenue water and improved water quality compliance," the report says.
NWASCO pledged to continue to trail the Government's vision outlined in the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and the National Urban and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation programme by enforcing compliance to water supply and sanitation guidelines and standards.