Yeukai Karengezeka Municipal Correspondent
Chitungwiza Municipality has begun replacing malfunctioning conventional water meters as it steps up efforts to reduce non-revenue water and ensure that residents get accurate bills.
In an interview, Chitungwiza public relations officer Mr Lovemore Meya said the initiative is part of council’s 100-day initiative.
“We are installing water meters because we need to have proper account of the water we are supply in our town and we would love our customers to pay for what they have actually used,” he said.
“We were being inundated with complaints on water consumption charges by ratepayers as a result of faulty meters.
“Therefore we want to ensure that ratepayers only pay for what they would have consumed.”
Mr Meya said they had targeting to installed 1 500 meters but could not meet the target due to some constraints.
“We projected to install about 1 500 domestic water meters in Zengeza 4, Ward 13 inclusive Zengeza 4 Ward 14. So far we have fitted 800, however we are failing short to hit the target due to numerous constrains beyond our control.
“Therefore, we had to start the project later but we expect to hit the target by the 15th of September with 1 500 meters being installed,” he said.
Mr Meya said the local authority also aimed to reduce non-revenue water percentage by closing out all the stand pipes that do not have water meters either they being stolen or vandalised in any other form.
He said they were going to impose penalties on those that will be found to have tempered with the meters.
“In some cases when we satisfied that the tenant has tempered with the meter, we will impose a penalty of $250 (tempering fees) that is payable to council.
“We have also started to flash out illegal connections as we move around the location. We are checking on illegal water connections.”
Chitungwiza was also carrying out borehole maintenance programme albeit at a slow pace.
“As part of our rehabilitation programme we had targeted to repair 30 boreholes, but for now only 12 have being rehabilitated.
“However, we are facing some challenges like recurrence of breakdowns due to high usage of boreholes because of scarcity of portable water.
‘‘This has seen most people resorting to using boreholes more against water supply.”