Malawi: Prepaid Water Metering System Rolled Out

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George G Mhango
April 19, 2013

Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) in Malawi with funding from World Bank has started installing prepaid water metering system in some parts of the country’s smallest city of Mzuzu.

NRWB’s public relations manager Edward Nyirenda says that the installation of prepaid meters has started as a pilot phase, targeting 1 200 customers.

Nyirenda says the pilot phase has started in the townships of Katoto, Chasefu and Chimaliro before rolling out to other locations.

“We called our customers that are on pilot programme so that we can brief them about this new method of paying for water. It is a major change for them and it is a major shift for our institution,” he says.

By using a good water mater, a utility company can accurately record the amount of water used in each property, instead of charging a flat rate for water use
By using a good water mater, a utility company can accurately record the amount of water used in each property, instead of charging a flat rate for water use

Nyirenda further explains that each customer will be issued a smartcard for buying water units at any pay points just as they do with prepaid phones and electricity.

“The new system is customer friendly as it gives the customer the power to control water usage since the new meters show the amount of water consumed per day,” Nyirenda says.

Nyirenda adds that when water units run out after working hours, during weekends or public holidays, the meters have been programmed not to cut out flow during such odd hours.

The prepaid water metering system is also being implemented in other countries such as Zambia, Uganda, Turkey and Lesotho. NRWB conceived the idea three years ago after visiting countries that use prepaid water metering system.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation
2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

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