CAMA orders ministry to provide newly gazetted water tariffs prices

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The Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) is demanding a gazetted document from the Ministry of Water and Sanitation which will indicate an increase in water tariff for Blantyre Water Board.

This has been stated in a letter from Executive Director John Kapito to the  Ministry on Thursday.

He said that they have received information indicating that Blantyre Water Board has increased its water tariffs without consumers being informed.

He explained that any decision to increase Water Tariffs is regulated by the Act of Parliament that demands gazetting it to allow consumers to comment and to be made aware of any tariff adjustments.

“Using this background, we are requesting the Ministry of Water and Sanitation to provide us with information if indeed you have approved and gazetted for a new Water Tariff to Blantyre Water Board, any of the Water Boards and the percentage of such an increase. According to reports from the consumers, Blantyre Water Board has already started implementing these new unannounced tariffs.

“We wish to remind your Ministry that water is a public good whose production, distribution, and pricing must always take into account the protection of consumer rights,” he said.

According to Kapito, Water is a commodity that must never be used to discriminate against consumers especially the poor, therefore, inconsiderate Water tariffs negatively affect poor consumers.

He then advised the ministry to realize that careless high tariffs have a negative effect on the prices of many goods and services on the market and therefore, the process demands good balancing to avoid hurting poor consumers who are already struggling with the current high costs of living and are experiencing various health pandemics such as cholera and others.

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