Blantyre Water Board (BWB) says it has uprooted 67 illegal water connections in domestic and commercial entities since January this year when the board launched a campaign against the malpractice.
In the campaign, the board has given customers a chance to anonymously report illegal connections through Deloitte Tips Offs Anonymous or its internal reporting system.
In a written response to The Nation inquiry about progress of the exercise on Monday, BWB public affairs officer Priscilla Mateyu said the 67 illegal connections uprooted is an improvement from 48 in the past quarter.
She said most of the illegal connections involved domestic customers, especially from low-income areas of Ndirande, Bangwe and Manje townships.
Said Mateyu: “The board has lost about K130 million in illegal connections in the past three months. This is money that could have been utilised to extend or expand our distribution system to allow other people have access to clean and safe water supply.”
She said annually, BWB loses about K560 million, an equivalent of 23 percent of its total revenue, through illegal water connections.
Mateyu has since said the board will continue carrying out the exercise to bust illegal connections.
She said: “Customers must know that once caught with an illegal connection, they will pay hefty penalties.
“The board appreciates the support that the general public is rendering to it by reporting illegal connections.”
In an earlier interview with The Nation, BWB acting director of distribution Bright Mziliwanda said while the board can locate an area with revenue leakages using back meter, it cannot pinpoint where illegal connections have been made, hence the need for people to tip them.