The Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) was found to have the highest revenue losses last year of over K236 million due to illegal connections and unbilled customers, among others, according to NWASCO.
The National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), regulators of water supply and sanitation services in the country, stated in its 2018 Water Supply and Sector Report that the estimated revenue losses incurred by KWSC lost due to Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in 2018 increased to K236.2 million from K163.7 million in 2017.
This loss represent 72 per cent in the utility’s NRW and is way above the acceptable benchmark of 25 per cent set for water utilities in Zambia.
Although the Luapula Water and Sewerage Company (LPWSC) incurred slightly less losses in monetary terms of K143.7 million last year, it recorded a higher percentage of 78 per cent.
NRW is the difference between the quantity of treated water distributed in the network and the quantity of water billed.
It consists of technical (leakages) and commercial losses, which include illegal connections, unbilled customers, wastage and un-metered customers’ premises.
But at the other end of the scale, the best performing water utility in terms of least NRW losses incurred was the North-Western Water and Sewerage Company (NWWSC) with 28 per cent, translating to just K8.5 million in monetary terms last year, an improvement from K19.1 million recorded in 2017.
However, the overall performance of all 11 utilities worsened year-on-year as they all cumulatively lost K943.1 million last year from K706.5 million in 2017.
“At the benchmark of 25 per cent NRW, the acceptable loss would have been about K435 million against the actual of K943 million. In terms of monetary losses, LPWSC and KWSC continued to operate in extremes with more than 70 per cent of the water produced lost. This poses a serious threat to financial viability of the commercial utilities,” read the Report.