By Abel Ikiloni
Blantyre, Mana: Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has migrated two thirds of its customers in its jurisdiction from post-paid to prepaid billing system.
The migration which commenced in early 2017 targeted medium density areas of Soche East, Nkolokosa, Old Naperi, Kanjedza, Ndirande Newlines, Ndirande Malaysia, Lunzu Areas 1-12 and Chiwembe.
BWB Acting Senior Public Relations Officer, Judith Kapyanga, told Malawi News Agency (MANA) that the board has connected over 28,000 customers to prepaid meters since the progamme began.
“We have connected 28,000 customers on prepaid metering system since 2017 out of 60,000 post paid customers representing two thirds of customers in the city of Blantyre,” she said.
Kapyanga observed that the board embraced the prepaid water metering system due to its convenience, adding that most customers are able to manage their consumption, hence, improving water demand management.
“Following government directive to improve revenue collection efficiency, BWB plans to migrate from post paid to prepaid gradually. Due to the high investment costs, the initiative started with low, medium and now high density areas,” Kapyanga said.
Kapyanga said although customers welcomed the system but there were some customers facing difficulties in operating the Customer Interface Unit (CIU) gadget.
A CIU is a machine used for buying token and checking balance.
One of the customers from Machinjiri Township, George Magoya, 58, commended BWB for providing them with prepaid water meters, saying: “At first, we thought this was only for rich people.”
“Prepaid is better than post paid because you cannot be disconnected due to an outstanding bill, you can even spend a month without being charged and again you can buy token any time of the day you want water in the comfort of your home,” Magoya added.