By BRIAN HATYOKA –
SOME residents of Livingstone have criticised Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWASCO) for increasing water tariffs despite the alleged poor services they are subjected to.
But SWASCO regional manager Goodson Masheka said the water utility had put measures in place to improve service delivery to the clients.
SWASCO has announced that the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) approved an average of 10 per cent tariff adjustment for all water utilities countrywide effective February 1, 2014 on a three-year tier system to January 31, 2015.
A Livingstone resident Moses Sakala wondered why NWASCO approved what he termed high water tariffs for SWASCO when its services left much to be desired.
Mr Sakala, who is Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection Livingstone coordinator, said NWASCO should have consulted residents on issues of SWASCO’s service delivery to clients before approving the new tariffs.
“We were not consulted by NWASCO on SWASCO’s new tariffs and this is unfair to be just subjected to new charges.
“SWASCO has been failing to provide water in many areas of Livingstone on 24-hour basis while some areas only receive water in the night, yet the city is near the Zambezi River,” Mr Sakala said.
He said the increment in water tariffs, coupled with high mealie-meal prices, would push up the Basic Needs Basket for a family of six in Livingstone.
Another Livingstone resident, Emmanuel Chikoya said SWASCO’s service delivery in terms of water supply was poor even if NWASCO had approved hikes in water tariffs.
Father Chikoya, who is Livingstone’s St Andres Anglican Church priest-in-charge, said there should be an equal commitment to enhancing quality in water supply on the part of SWASCO.
SWASCO received about K65 million from the Government to improve on water supply in the city.