With about K1 billion in outstanding water bills, the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) leads the list of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) owing the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) hefty bills.
The board has since moved to install prepaid billing water meters in the MDAs as one way of ensuring revenue collection and avoiding accumulation of bills.
LWB chief executive officer Alfonso Chikuni told members of Parliament (MPs) under the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Public Affairs as he briefed them on the controversial Salima-Lilongwe Water Supply Project.
He said government departments owe the board billions; hence, the plan to start installing the prepaid meters with them.
Said Chikuni: “We are embarking on installing prepaid meters in the government departments, beginning with the Malawi Defence Force in a week’s time which owes us K1billion for one year. We believe that the new system will help address such debts.”
He said MDF is aware of the prepaid meters project.
In June last year, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe told Parliament that MDAs owed public utility service providers—the country’s five water boards and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom)—in excess of K10 billion in unpaid bills dating back to the 2015/16 financial year.
Escom, Blantyre Water Board (BWB) and Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) embarked on scaling up prepaid billing meters installation to counter default.