Blantyre Water Board’s K8.9b loss disappoints Chilima


Vice President Saulos Chilima has expressed disappointment over the K8.9 billion loss incurred by Blantyre Water Board (BWB) in the 2019/20 financial year.

Chilima on Thursday met with management of Blantyre Water Board where he noted that performance has gone down.

“It was disappointing to note that the progress gained over the past years has regressed to the point of incurring K8.9 billion loss in the 2019/20 financial year. Worse still, non-revenue water has gone up from 37% in 2018/19 to 54 percent in 2019/20,” said Chilima.

He wondered why performance has gone down when the board has made investment into BWB through a new water pump at Walkers Ferry and the Likhubula supply system.

The vice president said he will meet the board again on Wednesday next week where he expects them to present a revised and validated report outlining a clear roadmap to turn around the current situation.

Chilima also demanded the board to provide an update on challenges affecting water supply in Blantyre City.

He, however, commended the board for the proposal to reduce energy costs by sourcing an independent power plant.

“The power generation project is crucial and BWB should consider having its own power generation plant,” he said.

Chilima on Thursday also met Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) which has embarked on progressive and ambitious reforms as it strives to be able to supply water for 24 hours to its customers from the current 18 hours.

The reforms the board is implementing include the climate smart energy solutions, rolling out of pre-paid meters to a larger scale as well as reforms to reduce non-revenue water that will see the board saving K1 billion which was going down the drain through pipe leakages.

Chilima said: “I was particularly impressed with the Climate Smart Energy reforms which, with solar energy in place, the board is now able to achieve maximum production with an extra 25,000 cubic meters translating to K126 million in sales annually.”