THE National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) says it will not allow any water and sewerage company to exploit customers through water tariffs.
NWASCO director Kelvin Chitumbo said the regulator would make sure that customers were not exploited but at the same time warned that the sustainability of the water and sewerage companies was not compromised.
Speaking at the presentation of water tariff adjustment proposals by the four water and sewerage companies namely Eastern, Luapula, Southern and Chambeshi, Mr Chitumbo reiterated that NWASCO would not allow any water and sewerage company to exploit customers through water tariffs.
“The role of the regulator is to ensure that water and sanitation services are affordable to all Zambians and that the cost is commensurate to the level of service,”
“We have to balance the interest of both the consumer and water and sewerage companies,” he said.
Mr Chitumbo said the presentation of proposals accorded the water and sewerage companies an opportunity to substantiate and justify their proposed new tariffs which were preceded by consultative meetings with their respective customers as required by NWASCO tariff adjustment guidelines.
“Consultative with customers, both individuals and commercial clients is cardinal in the tariff adjustment process as it empowers the customers to scrutinize the rationale of a water and sewerage company to adjust tariffs.
“I therefore, implore customers to take an interest in the tariff consultative meetings as their feedback is important,” he said.
Mr Chitumbo said the water and sewerage companies were being accorded a chance to explain their intention of adjusting their tariffs for the 2015 to 2017.
“The proposal will be subjected to scrutiny and possible adjustment by NWASCO staff after which the NWASCO board will decide the final outcome,” he said.