Concerns over prepaid water meters report

HARARE - The Residents Forum (RF) has petitioned the Harare City Council (HCC) demanding to be furnished with findings of a report on the prepaid water meters pilot project.

According to RF’s coordinator Denford Ngadziore, the report contains crucial details on the criteria used in selecting the five companies hired to install the meters.

In an August 16 letter addressed to Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and the town clerk, Ngadziore argued that residents were entitled to know about the whole process before council decides to embark on a full-scale roll-out of the prepaid water meters.

“We want council to inform us on the results of the pilot project with regard to availability and accessibility of water, financial performance of the proposed metering system in comparison with the old system and residents’ response,” he said.

In June, council installed 3 000 meters in Bluffhill, the Avenues, Sunningdale, Kambuzuma, Greendale and Avondale on a pilot scheme.

Companies which supplied the gadgets are Hukoshwa, Industrial Products, Syvern, Tricon Investments and Utility Systems, with only three set to be contracted once the trial run is completed.

Ngadziore also demanded to know council’s position on whether the prepaid meters would be mandatory or voluntary and also if the prepaid metering system would address or worsen residents’ plight on water.

He said council should be transparent in order to avoid corruption in the system, adding that residents should be afforded the opportunity to have checks and balances on the prepaid metering system before any final decisions are made.

“All we want is to avoid residents being cheated by this system as with the current one. They should be informed on everything that is going on. The only problem we have is that most people who want prepaid meters are in low density areas and already have boreholes, so when meters are installed they will not pay for anything,” Ngadziore said.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said Council was currently assessing areas were the meters were installed.

“The assessment should be done by October so that we start adjudicating which companies performed the best and would be suited to implement the roll-out once successful. In the event of a good review, we should be starting a citywide rollout by end of the year or beginning of 2017,” he said.

Once successfully installed, the local authority predicts that the prepaid meters would reduce non-revenue water by 20 percent and increase revenue by about $21, 6 million per year.

Comments (1)

I live in the avenues and I am very grateful for the prepaid meters. Before, we were paying 60.00 a month and now, just 10.00 worth will last me the whole month in a house of 4 people. It is also helping my family take care of water and not waste.

Fatso - 4 September 2016

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