Government has released K300, 000 towards feasibility studies to create a water and sanitation firm to service Muchinga Province.
National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) Public Relations and Communications Manager Rose Tembo confirmed the development in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today.
Ms Tembo said the money, which is part of the K1 million budgeted for the project, has since been released to the provincial administration to start the process of creating a new water utility company for Muchinga province.
She said a road map for the establishment of a commercial utility will be rolled out in the next one month once comprehensive technical and financial consultations with stakeholders are completed.
Water and sanitation services in Muchinga province are provided by Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company (CHWSC) which also operates in Northern Province.
However, the operating license for CHWSC was revoked in 2012 for noncompliance with license conditions and is under statutory management of North Western Water and Sanitation Company.
Ms Tembo maintained that the operating license for Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company will remain suspended until new management is put in place to administer the water utility company.
In a related development, NWASCO has dispelled assertions that it intends to hike water and sewerage tariffs for the second time this year.
Ms Tembo said that the water regulating body already adjusted the tariffs upward by 13 % in January for all the 11 water companies for 2014.
She however explained that five water utility companies will apply for upward tariff adjustment for the period 2015 to 2017.
She named the five companies as Southern, Chambeshi, Eastern, Luapula and Western Water and Sewerage companies.
Ms Tembo said the approval for tariff hikes for the subsequent years will depend on the water firms meeting the set tariff conditions.
At its 53rd Board meeting held in December last year, NWASCO considered and approved tariff adjustments for Lusaka, Kafubu, Nkana, Luapula, North-western and Mulonga water and sewerage companies.
The remaining five water companies namely Southern, Western, Eastern, Chambeshi and Lukanga Water and sewerage companies were authorised to implement the already approved 2014 tariffs.