SUSPECTED scrap metal dealers in Luanshya have stolen 700 metres of raw water pipes belonging to Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) worth K450,000.
The stolen pipes were connecting the Kafubu Water pump station to the Makoma treatment plant. The development has affected water supply to Mpatamatu and Roan townships as well as Luanshya town centre.
KWSC public relations officer Margaret Zulu said in an interview yesterday that the theft was discovered last Friday during routine checks on the company’s installations in the area after noticing low water pressure.
Ms Zulu said several cutting cylinders and equipment used by scrap metal dealers was recovered at the scene of the theft and that the matter has since been reported to Roan police station in Luanshya.
“We are appealing to members of the public to have a sense of belonging and guard these installations as their own. We need to work together to bring the culprits to book,” she said.
She said as a consequence, the company now needs in excess of K960,000 to replace the stolen pipes and restore normal water supply to the affected areas in Luanshya.
Meanwhile, KWSC has completed the US25 million Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded maintenance works and overhaul of the rickety Nakaputa line which is set to improve water supply.
Ms Zulu explained that the pipes from the Kalewa reserviour have been overhauled and that incessant leakages on Entebbe and Chifubu lines were curbed thereby restoring normal supply to the northern part of Ndola.
She, however, said because of high pressure in the places where the company has replaced pipes, there are so many leakages especially in Chifubu where customer lines were vandalised during the dry spell.
“We are appealing to customers to work on their taps while we also work on the connections from the main lines to the consumer lines. Currently they are too many leakages,” she said.
On the erratic water supply in the southern part of Ndola, Ms Zulu said the problem was caused by a burst pipe which has since been replaced and that areas in Itawa, Masala and Kabushi had already started receiving normal supply on Tuesday while the rest were expected to get theirs restored yesterday.