The Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has pounced on Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi Prison and Malawi Police Service (MPS) among other institutions for failing to pay water bills amounting to over K3.7 billion.
Lilongwe Water Board is one of government agencies failing to operate due to outstanding bills owed by other state institutions as well as private companies.
On Wednesday 20th June, 2018, MDF, Prison and MPS officers were taken by a surprise when LWB officers stormed their offices to disconnect water for failing to service their water accounts regularly.
According to information Nyasa Times has sourced, MDF owes the water utility company K1.1 billion, Malawi Prison K270 million while MPS owes LWB K1.035 billion.
When contacted, LWB assistant Public Relations Officer, Maurice Nkawihe confirmed that they have disconnected water supply to several institutions including domestic customers with outstanding bills.
"All I can say is that as Lilongwe Water Board we are currently on a massive disconnection campaign targeting all unpaid accounts with more than 30 days of outstanding bills. The exercise is ongoing and is not selective," explained Nkawihe.
Nkawihe said the failure by customers to service their accounts regularly has crippled the operations of the company which is struggling to meet the growing water demand and is able to only meet 75 percent of about 1.1 million people in the city.
"We need money to improve our services and that can only happen if customers pay their bills on time. We can't always depend on donors or loans to improve our services. For us to meet the water demand we have to upgrade and improve production and distribution systems and that require investments. The money customers, both residential and corporate, owe us can assist in that area," he added.
Apart from MDF and MPS, other institutions that have been disconnected water due to outstanding bills include Bwaila District Hospital which owes LWB K110.2 million, Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) K305.4 million, Malawi College of Health Sciences K37.1 million, Lilongwe Teachers Training College K42.9 million and Lilongwe Girls Secondary School which owes LWB K106.9 million.