The National Water and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) has warned commercial water firms against misusing funds meant for water infrastructure development.
NWASCO Acting Director Peter Mutale said it will be wrong for the commercial water utility companies to divert funds they have contracted from multilateral cooperating partners and international lending institutions on unplanned things.
He said his organization will not allow the consumers to pay for the inefficiencies of the water utility companies in the event that they misapply the huge funds that have been contracted from international lending institutions to rehabilitate and develop water networks.
Nearly US$ I billion dollars has been acquired by some commercial water utility firms to improve water infrastructure across the country in order to improve access to clean water and improved sanitation.
Mr Mutale told ZANIS in an interview that NWASCO in its capacity as regulator of the water sector and on behalf of government has authorized the major water utility firms to contract loans in order to improve water supply and sanitation across the country.
He named the water firms as Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company(LWSC), and the Copperbelt based Kafubu, Mulonga and Nkana Water and Sewerage Companies.
Mr Mutale disclosed that Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company has acquired a 205 million euros loan from four international lending institutions to improve sanitation in the capital city.
He said the World Bank, European Bank, African Development Bank and the German development bank have pooled resources to finance the project due to the conducive environment obtaining in the water sector.
This is in addition to the US$ 355 million LWSC got from the United States government through the millennium challenge corporation for the Lusaka Water, Supply, Sanitation and Drainage project for the improvement of water supply and sanitation.
Mr Mutale added that over US$ 250 million has also been accessed by the copper belt based firms to expand their water networks and improve access to and the quality of water to the public.
He said Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company has obtained US$125 million , Nkana Water and Sewerage Company US$110 million and Mulonga US$ 3 million to improve water reticulation.