THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) will begin rolling out prepaid water meters within the next three months to improve the supply and access to potable water.
Three local companies were recently awarded tenders to supply the first batch of 35 000 units.
The meters are envisaged to improve revenue collection, control consumption and ensure accurate billing for consumers.
It is believed enhanced revenue generation will reduce Zinwa’s reliance on the fiscus and improve access to funds for water treatment.
The initial phase will give priority to clients with non-functional meters, domestic clients with high consumption and all new meter connections.
This first batch of water meters will be supplied to selected households, institutions and commercial clients, including those in small towns, growth points and rural service centres.
Three local companies have been awarded tenders valued at over $680 million — Helcraw Electrical ($350 million), Satewave Technology ($300 million) and Finmark Energy ($10 million).
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said the meters will be installed for clients across its 20 services centres and their 534 water supply stations.
“This development follows a successful pilot project in the towns of Mvurwi and Chivhu last year, and Zinwa has received overwhelming calls and enquiries from clients in the pilot towns who wish to migrate from the post-paid to the prepaid system,” she said.
The prepaid water meters, she said, will address challenges associated with estimated bills.
“Clients will now conserve water and have improved convenience as prepaid water meters will allow them to use water in accordance with their budget.
“Clients can decide how much water they can have at a particular period,” she said, adding that all the resources that Zinwa is currently using in reading meters and distribution of statements, including the personnel, will now be channelled towards other activities meant to improve service delivery.
“Zinwa charges will always seek to strike a delicate balance between water availability and affordability, and this will be continued even under the prepaid system.”