Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) is currently implementing a project meant to refurbish its Mambo bio-filtration plant.
The project is sponsored by the World Bank at US$ 967, 540 and has been at tender stage. The tender closed on the 10th of June 2021.
The announcement was made by Francistown Mayor Godisang Radisigo during a full council meeting on Monday. Mambo bio- filtration plant which was designed to treat domestic waste only, is currently facing a challenge of receiving industrial waste which then impacts negatively on the waste treatment process.
Radisigo pleaded with industrial waste producers such as textile industries, abattoirs and commercial activities that have fats, oil and grease to pre-treat their waste prior to disposal into the sewer mains as per the Trade Effluent Agreement that they signed with WUC.
“The Corporation is facing financial challenges due to Covid – 19 as its business relies primarily on customer payments. Payments from customers have been slow since the advent of the pandemic due to various reasons. The Corporation has seen its debt reach P1 billion on average and to encourage customers to pay, the Corporation was forced to undertake pressure management to select customers and hand them over to the private debt collectors,” he said.
He further pleaded with water consumers to pay their bills to avoid being handed over to the debt collectors. He encouraged them to use WUC payment points in Francistown; one at National Development Building (NDB) premises and the other one at Sunshine Plaza Mall. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the mayor encouraged customers to utilize electronic payment methods such as electronic banking, mobile banking and the WUC application.
On Solid Waste Management Services, Radisigo said as local authorities they have been pursuing outsourcing of waste collection services in an effort to improve efficiency in waste collection around the city by maintaining the seven day waste collection cycle customer service standard.
“However, our efforts to achieve such have been hampered by the frequent appeals and interdictions that are characteristic of our bidders in this city. In an effort to address this sorry state of affairs, contractors have been engaged temporarily while waiting for the courts to make their determination on the disputed award,” explained Radisigo.
On a positive note, he said they have successfully managed to outsource waste collection in Gerald Estates location with the intention to continue rolling out the initiative to other areas in the city to enhance efficiency. He also said they will continue to address the prevailing challenges as they roll out outsourcing in other areas to drive their mission to make Francistown the cleanest city. He expressed concern over illegal and indiscriminate dumping of waste in the city by some members of the public.
“Our efforts to closely monitor illegal waste dumping hot spots are ineffective as dumping takes place in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning. Strategies through collaboration with other law enforcement agencies are being put in place to halt this trend,” he said.