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High energy costs choke Blantyre Water Board

Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has described high energy costs, low water tariffs, high non-revenue water, proliferation of boreholes, overpriced procurement, compromised working culture as well as corruption as the key contributors of the parastatal’s low performance.

Speaking at a media engagement and tour in Blantyre, Blantyre Water Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Robert Hanjahanja disclosed that the institution has been operating at a loss, with very high operation costs against low revenue realization, which justifies tariff adjustment.

In his remarks, Board Chairperson for Blantyre Water Board, Joe Ching’ani disclosed that as a commercial institution, the current operation climate for the institution is unsustainable and very challenging.

According to Paul Chiumia, director of finance for the board, Blantyre Water Board spends 1.3 billion on energy alone against average monthly revenue of 1.9 billion. He disclosed that high electricity cost, low tariffs and non-revenue water as a result of ageing infrastructure are key contributing factors affecting the Institution’s performance.

The parastatal has however come up with strategies to address these challenges. The Director of Finance alluded that, Blantyre Water Board is working on improving its financial position by among other things reducing it’s short-term liability by 20 percent, improving it’s sales by 46% as well as reducing operation costs by 70% while increasing the customer base by 24,000.

The institution is also working on improving its operational efficiency and improving staff productivity by among other strategies, instilling in them an ownership culture and eliminating corruption.

Blantyre Water Board supplies water to Blantyre City and rural areas, and parts of Chiradzulo and Thyolo.-(Story Credit: Malawi Government Online)

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