A MANUAL to help improve the understanding of water prepaid metering system in Zambia is to be launched soon, says National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) public relations and communication manager Rose Tembo.
Ms Tembo said the prepaid metering system as a new venture in Zambia’s water sector needed clear guidelines on how individuals and companies should run them.
“We have already completed the consultative process in the operationalization of the system and we are just finalizing the guidelines and how to enforce the exercise,” she said. She was commenting on some customer complaints about the malfunctioning of some of the newly installed pre-paid water meters in some areas in Lusaka. “We have received several complaints over the pre-paid meters, and we have just concluded consultations on the production of guidelines and how to enforce them,
“As a regulator, we would like to have a manual for reference on what to expect from the system and how to deal with complaints from the consumers,” she said.
Ms Tembo explained that after several complaints from the general public, it was inevitable that the regulator should be provided with a manual to give direction for its operations.
She said the guidelines should give utility companies their mandate surrounding the operationalization of the prepaid meter and the system in use, as well as provide the consumers the right to complain against particular utilities on their service provision. “So far we have received several complaints in relation to the water pre-paid meters.
Some of them have cut off water supplies despite having been recharged with water units, while others have refused to recharge leaving the consumer without water,” she said.
There have been several complaints about the newly introduced pre-paid water meters which were reported to be malfunctioning soon after being installed for the first time in Zambia.