Deputy Minister of Defence Jean Sendeza says government has moved in to cut water bills in Malawi Defence Force (MDF) establishments through rehabilitation of supply pipes and installation of prepaid billing meters.
The deputy minister said this on Thursday in Mzuzu when she commissioned the rehabilitated Moyale Barracks water supply reticulation system.
Through the project being implemented by the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB), Moyale Barracks has migrated from post-paid billing to prepaid system.
Sendeza said the monthly water bill for Moyale Barracks alone is about K90 million. The barracks’ consumption is estimated at 50 million litres.
She said: “The water board repaired old pipes and also installed prepaid meters to the 431 houses and replaced worn out plumbing system.
“The barracks will now be consuming about 25 million litres of water a month, reducing the monthly water bill to around K40 million a month.”
Sendeza said government implemented a similar project at Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe and is now doing the same at Changalume Barracks in Zomba.
MDF has also contracted Central Region Water Board for a similar project at Mvera Support Battalion.
MDF Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Paul Valentino Phiri said the project has ended the cat and mouse relationship that existed between Moyale Barracks and NRWB over unpaid water bills.
“We will now be able to manage our water bills, because in the past, we were suspicious of NRWB billing system,” he said.
NRWB board chairperson James Munthali said unsettled water bills have been a huge challenge to the board’s operations as it impacted on revenue.
He said: “The board’s objective is to install prepaid meters across the region to improve on its revenue collection and cut on expenses.”
The project which started a year ago, has cost the ministry K320 million.
Moyale Barracks owes NRWB about K2 billion in unpaid water bills.