Installation of water meters to aid recover arrears from debtors

MORE people are set to have water meters installed in their homes this year, a development which the Zimbabwe Water Authority (ZINWA) says will help recover arrears from debtors which is estimated to be over $2 billion.

The water authority last year had targeted installing 350 000 water meters countrywide and says these meters are the only way out of debts which are crippling its service delivery.

ZINWA Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager, Marjorie Munyonga said the installation of prepaid meters was adopted as a recovery strategy with over 7 000 meters having been installed.

She said the water body is owed more than $2,6 billion by members of the public, organisations and businesses.

“ZINWA is owed in excess of $2,6 billion by various clients across the country, which it is working as of November 30, 2021, various clients, including Government departments, parastatals, irrigators, agricultural estates, mines and schools owed ZINWA a total of $2 606 402 553. To try and curb the further growing of the debtors’ book, ZINWA is rolling out prepaid water meters in the small towns, growth points and rural service centres where it provides treated water and as at January 16, 2022 a total of 7 356 prepaid water meters had been installed across the country in Hwange, Murehwa, Mutoko, Nyanga, Chivhu, Karoi and Mvurwi,” she added.

In response to the announcement, disgruntled members of the public said arrears were as result of a crumbling economy and water meters will leave thousands without access to water.

Mayibongwe Khumalo from Gwanda said his residential area had also been earmarked for water meters which were not going to end the perennial water woes in the mining town.

“We have been hearing about plans to install water meters and we wonder who will address water challenges which are a result of ZINWA’s failure to provide quality services. Yes, people are owing but we all know that this economy is not improving and if we cannot afford to buy food how are we going to clear ZINWA arrears,” she said.

Maryline Sibanda said the move will affect disadvantaged families who were struggling to clear arrears.

“We have a number of disadvantaged families, some headed by individuals who will struggle to cope once these meters are installed. We do hope ZINWA will consider that these families have a right to water despite their financial status,” said Sibanda.

“ZINWA hasn’t been giving us a good service and they cannot blame that on residents because for years we have struggled without water supplies. Women will suffer the brunt more in this move and ZINWA should reconsider before installing these meters,” she added.




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