Pre-paid water meters’ fixing plans in pipeline

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PUBLIC institutions will from this year start paying their bills upfront before accessing water services, the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (DAWASCO) has disclosed to the ‘Daily News’.

In an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ over the weekend, the DAWASCO’s Director of Customer Operations, Mr Kiula Kingu, said the corporation also plans to instal pre-paid water meters for their customers. He said the move would, among other things, help the company recover costs and debts as well as control water usage, noting that it was currently owed over 18bn/- by customers that included public institutions.

“We are set to instal the pre-paid meters starting with public institutions during this financial year. The aim is to help manage the consumption and wastage of water. This will in turn help us meet the growing demand from customers and the public at large,” he said, adding that losses during transmission would be curbed.

Mr Kingu further more explained that if the introduction of the meters in the public institutions succeeded, the authority would extend the exercise to other customers, such as industries and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

“We are first introducing the meters in public institutions as a pilot project and if it works to our expectations, we will extend to other customers,” he said, noting that installation of the meters was expensive but if the move is succeeded, it would also result in an increase of revenue collection, expressing optimism that customers would settle their monthly bills promptly.

Mr Kingu said that majority of customers, including public institutions, didn’t pay their bills monthly as required, as a consequence of which their ability to undertake their operations, including supplying the precious liquid to all customers was compromised.

He said that out of 220,000 active customers the corporation has in the city, those who pay their bills monthly were below 100,000. “The rest of the customers have a tendency of paying their bills only when felt like doing so.

They can pay for one month and keep bills pending for two or so month,” he noted. He said the debts had been reduced after President John Magufuli ordered the corporation to disconnect water from all government institutions with outstanding bills that had then amounted to 40bn/-.

“Since the President ordered water disconnection from defaulters, especially government institutions, we have recorded positive changes from our customers, the majority are now paying their bills monthly,” he said.

He pointed out that Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF), Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and the Police Force were among institutions that had responded positively to the President’s order were now paying their bills promptly.

Mr Kingu urged customers to cooperate with DAWASCO by paying their bills promptly, to enable the corporation serve them efficiently, adding that the firm planned to connect 400,000 new customers by June, this year.

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