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BY PORTIA NKANI
Water Utilities Corporation – the country’s water carrier has procured and is currently installing a device management system worth P24 million.
The multi-million automated device management system, according to junior Minister at the ministry of Lands, Water and Sanitation - Itumeleng Moipisi will amongst other things manage all devices, including post and prepaid water metres.
WUC is expected to roll out the new system in phases with the first one being a pilot project in the capital Gaborone.
“We have engaged a service provider to put this system in place at Water Utilities Corporation and start rolling it out by December this year. We are still working on the system. The piloting will be in Gaborone before we can do a total roll out across the country. We have not yet procured any prepaid meters as we are still working on the system”, Moipisi said.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of Water Utilities Corporation - Gasennelwe Senai on Friday confirmed the rolling out of the project to Sunday Standard. He said that the service provider engaged is a German company – Siemens.
“Going forward to implementation; smart meters solution will be derived from the parameters set by this platform. We have not yet determined the model of implementation because smart meters are more expensive than the conventional meter, the cost of conventional meter is for the customer but we think it will be unfair to the customer to run the costs as it costs around P3, 000 per meter.”, Senai said.
Depending on successful commissioning of the device management system, WUC will then rollout smart meters.
Moipisi said once the smart meters are installed, WUC staff will be able to record water readings using a remote control which gives them access to the smart meter without having to enter the yard, as long as they are in close proximity.
Meanwhile the corporation is also reported to be working on getting a transactional advisor to develop a practical meter. The need for an advisor was necessited by high cost prepaid meters.
“One of the things is to put up as a service, out of the bill that the customer will be paying and part of it goes to the payment of the meter”, Senai said.