The National Water Supply and Sanitation Council has directed the Luapula Water And Sewerage Company to immediately develop and implement the Non-Revenue Water strategy to mitigate the alarming levels of NRW in Kawambwa district.
This came to light during the annual inspection of the Luapula Water and Sewerage Company conducted by NWASCO in January 2018.
Non Revenue Water is water that has been produced and is “lost” before it reaches the customer. Losses can be real losses (through leaks, sometimes also referred to as physical losses) or apparent losses (for example through theft or metering inaccuracies).
The Inspections also revealed that while the commercial utility has shown continuous efforts in improving hours of supply and increasing its customer base, some areas of non- compliance were noted.
NRW in Kawambwa District was at 83% for the month of December, 2018 making it the highest among all the districts the Commercial utility is serving.
The huge percentage was attributed to an increase in the number of water leakages on the old asbestos network including some malfunctioning prepaid water meters resulting in revenue losses for the water utility.
NWASCO has since directed the water utility to put in place the NRW strategy that will result in the reduction of the alarmingly high NRW particularly in Kawambwa District by 29th March, 2019.
In 2014, the government constituted the Non-revenue Water National Technical Task Force with the objective of combating NRW at a national level.
This was necessitated by the fact that despite the individual efforts made by the CUs, NRW remained high over a long period of time and therefore there was need for concerted efforts.
It was realised that some CUs were in need of external assistance in managing NRW whose national benchmark is 25%.
The task force is composed of technocrats from various institutions such as the University of Zambia, NWASCO and CUs.
This is contained in a statement issued to the media by NWASCO Public Relations Manager Mpunga Simukwai.