National water seeks to recover Shs23 billion in unpaid bills 

Thursday March 04 2021
tech02pix

A child drinks water from a tap. Dr Nicholas Tumwebaze, the NWSC manager billing and data management, said most of the affected clients had illegal water connections while others had accumulated bills which they failed to pay to zero in order to be reconnected. PHOTO/FILE/NMG

By Stephen Otage

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has said it will in six months seek to understand why more than 100,000 customers  have quit the water supply system. 

The customers, NWSC claims, quit with Shs23b in unpaid bills.

Addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, Mr George Okol, the NWSC director commercial and customer services, said instead of disconnecting customers, they will engage to understand the root cause of the problem as well as seek to bring back those that have quit. 

NWSC will in the same currency seek to find a way through which it can recover the Shs23b now in arrears.

“We want to understand [customers’] challenges with the view of bringing [those who have been disconnected] back on supply. We are calling upon customers with arrears, to make a commitment to pay and come back to supply by paying administrative fees,” he said.

Asked why the customers left the system, Okol said some had been disconnected due to illegal connections while others had accumulated water bills, who after had been disconnected have not returned on the supply system. 

Advertisement

Others, he said, had quit the supply system during the lockdown last year, noting that NWSC, under the new arrangement, will only require disconnected customers to make a payment plan as well as committing Shs50,000 on the old bill. 

Such customers, he said, will be managed under a special scheme in which they will be issued with new metres. 

Mr Mahmood Lutaaya, the Kampala Water area manager, said at least 10 per cent of customers, which translates to about 100,000 had gone off supply, noting they will seek to find out why they are off supply.

“We know there are people who previously had water challenges in areas of Gayaza, Sonde, Kyaliwajala, Kira Kasangati and parts if Wakiso. We have started testing different units of Katotsi and in the first week of May, water will be [flowing],” he said, adding that the new arrangement will help NWSC and customers to find structured ways through which they will pay the bill as well as getting back on the supply system. 

A number of customers, during the Covid-19 – induced lockdown, accumulated water bills after the President had asked utilities companies not to disconnect customers over non-payment. 

However, many of them have not been able to clear bills thus getting off supply. 

Dr Nicholas Tumwebaze, the NWSC manager billing and data management, said most of the affected clients had illegal water connections while others had accumulated bills which they failed to pay to zero in order to be reconnected.

“We are giving amnesty to all customers with illegal connections. We also urge customers with accumulated bills, to pay in instalments,” he said.

Accumulated bills                                

A number of customers, during the Covid-19-induced lockdown, accumulated water bills after President Museveni directed utilities companies not to disconnect customers over non-payment. However, many of them have defaulted.  

Dr Nicholas Tumwebaze, the NWSC manager billing and data management, said most of the affected clients had illegal connections while others had accumulated bills which they failed to pay to zero. 

 in order to be reconnected.

Advertisement