THE government has written off all water bills owed to Kafubu Water and Sanitation Company for Luanshya district.
And water development, sanitation and environmental protection minister Jonas Chanda said K3 million has been released as emergency funds towards maintenance of dilapidated sewer lines.
Dr Chanda said the decision to write off the bills was an instruction from President Edgar Lungu.
About 40,000 people in Luanshya’s Mpatamatu and Roan townships are set to benefit from the writing off of historical water bills.
He said this during a tour of areas in Luanshya district in the company of Luanshya mayor Nathan Chanda.
“In Luanshya’s Mpatamatu and Roan alone there will be about 4,000 households that will benefit from the immediate write-off of the water bills by Kafubu Water and Sanitation Company. And that translates in about 40,000 beneficiaries who will benefit from this gesture from government,” Dr Chanda said.
He said that all other areas that had similar challenges would have bills written off as people could not be unfairly made to pay for a service they had not received.
Dr Chanda however, said after the bills were written off, it was important that people should have obligations and start paying for the service they start receiving.
“I am appealing to customers that once government writes off bills, once the service starts being given, we expect people to start paying. We have instructed Kafubu Water to verify the challenges and so after that all bills will be written off,” he said.
Dr Chanda also announced that President Lungu had instructed that K3 million be provided as emergency funding for sewer line works in Luanshya as most parts of the town had dilapidated sewer systems.
He said Zambians deserved access to clean and safe water as well as sanitation.
Dr Chanda said the government had an upcoming project under the Kafubu Water Sanitation, which would stand at overhauling all dilapidated sewer system lines and benefit Luanshya, Ndola, Masaiti and Mpongwe.
And mayor Chanda said the people of Luanshya would be grateful for the gesture as the current situation was pathetic and risked lives.
“Your coming to Luanshya is welcome and especially during this period where we are in the rain season. We are very optimistic that the challenges that people are facing will be things of the past. I must also thank the ministry for the achievements as far as water and sanitation is concerned,” said Chanda.