Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources Henrie Njoloma has disclosed that Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) loses approximately 40 percent of its production volume annually.
He said this on Tuesday at LWB headquarters during the third Joint Coordinating Committee meeting for a four-year project between LWB and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) aimed at strengthening the capacity of non-revenue water reduction.
Njoloma said non-revenue water remains a big challenge for water boards in Malawi.
Apart from losses through pipe bursts arising from aged infrastructure, some of the water is being lost through illegal connections by the same customers the board is striving to serve.
“An estimated five percent of the supply is being illegally drawn across the city, equivalent to K854 million. I, therefore, implore upon all Lilongwe residents to assist the board curb the malpractice, by reporting any such incidents to LWB through their toll-free line, 253,” said Njoloma
He, however, said he was happy to learn that through the joint project, Jica and LWB were setting up a system that will enhance LWB’s capacity to manage non-revenue water.
LWB chief executive officer Godfrey Itaye said the project is important to the board as it is losing a lot of its water; hence, the project will help to deal with the challenge of non-revenue water.
He said the 40 percent being lost annually can be estimated to coast between K14 to K18 billion.
“There is no country in the world that does not have non-revenue water but we hope to reduce this to 20%,” said Itaye.
In a separate interview, Jica Malawi resident representative Naoto Sakunju said the meeting helped take stock of their activities, successes and challenges that they have come across during the implementation of the project.