The public outcry against Water Utilities Corporation (WUC)’s poor water supply service in the country has been dismissed as not being WUC malfunction but is, instead, the extent of water supply challenges in the country.
“The Corporation is cladded with transformational challenges assumed during takeover, such as incompatible billing system between WUC, DWA and District councils and water supply infrastructure inadequacy hence the poor service delivery,” said Godfrey Mudanga, WUC CEO.
The Water Utilities Corporation, under the reviewed National Water Master Plan of 2006, took over water service delivery to all urban centres and villages in Botswana as well as wastewater management, which is extended to 2014.
Briefing the media, Mudanga attributed the current challenges faced by WUC to the infrastructure’s quality and capacity, which is far below the WUC standards.
“Inadequate water supply infrastructure impacted and continues to impact on the projects as the corporation continues to experience frequent pipe burst in areas like Mahalapye, Kanye, and Molepolole,” he said.
Mudanga added that the continuous breakdown of boreholes and the drying up of others is a major aspect affecting the corporation efforts to provide an uninterrupted water supply service.
He revealed that the infrastructure required to achieve the national vision of clean piped water to all by 2016 will not come cheap, saying that an estimated P7 billion is required in the next 3 to 4 years.
“Lack of funding to address these problems has adversely affected the corporation’s operations,” he said.
Further, Mudanga said transitional issues have been a major setback in WUC smooth service delivery.
“Merging 18 organizations and increasing the staff compliment of WUC from 900 to close to 3000 in 2 years is no mean feat, teething problems should be expected,” he said.
Additionally, he highlighted the incompatibility of DWA and Local authorities billing systems with WUC’s billing system resulting in delayed bills for the villages taken over by WUC.
Mudanga, however, revealed that the corporation has embarked on a project to bring billing up to date for all areas and bills are expected to be posted or delivered to the customers by 14 November 2011. He said this will lead to the corporation embarking on an intensified revenue collection drive.
He, however, said the situation at WUC is improving compared to 5 years ago.
Mudanga said that the current public outcry will not distract their plans.