Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mulonga water requires K905bn

MULONGA Water and Sewerage Company (MWASC) requires K905 billion between now and 2015 to have a complete overhaul of its water network in an effort to improve water reticulation. Briefing Community Development Mother to Child Health Minister Joseph Katema MWASC managing director Manuel Mutale said the network in former council operating areas was completely dilapidated and corroded, hence requiring capital funding. He said the projected K905 billion (US$174 million) would help in readdress the bottleneck the company was facing to revamped the network in the three towns of Chingola Chililabombwe and Mufulira where Mulonga operates. Mr Mutale said last year his company received about K15 million from Government under the water emergency as intervention measures from the Ministry of Local Government. He said using the same funds the company was able to replace the old and dilapidated Lulamba trunk line with a new one and with improved size. Mr Mutale said the leaking old line was feeding Chikola, Chiwempala, Chabanyama, Lulamba, Twatasha and other new settlements. He said the project would help the company further facilitate improved water supply to some clients who last received tap water about 20 years ago. He said leakages were hampering on company revenue as the uncounted for water was standing at 42 per cent.
The leaks further reduced on the water pressure. Mr Mutale said after improving the water supply, the company would undertake a project to improve the sewer lines in an effort to avoid effluent. He said the current projects were intervention measures aimed at giving customers water as the company and Government were sourcing for the required K905 billion. Mr Mutale said his water utility was pleased with Government move to introduce urban water resources to help in funding the various water utilities in the country. Mulonga has about 40,477 connections with figures being 16,955 customer connections in Mufulira, 15,920 in Chingola and 7,602 in Chililabombwe. He called on government to expedite the completion of national urban water supply programme to easy the running of water firms in the country. He said water still remains a social commodity which helps in promoting good community hygienic practices. Mr Mutale said once the water infrastructure was properly financed the issues of diarrhea disease would be reduced and the company would maximize the profit. Mulonga remains one of the 11 commercial water utilities (CUs) in the country which has never received donor funding for its capital projects. And Dr Katema said he was aware of the challenges the company was facing, especially that he was the Chingola Member of Parliament. The Minister said Mulonga requires urgent intervention measures to help in its operation. Dr Katema said his ministry would fail to deliver if communities lack proper sanitation and clean drinking water. Dr Katema said water utilities were cardinal for his ministry to perform because the basic hygiene practices were things like wash hands after using the lavatory, drink clean water and proper disposal of human waste.

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