CUTS Dismayed with Services of Water Utility of Zambia

Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International Lusaka is dismayed by the laxity being exhibited by the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (to address some of the water related concerns being brought before the utility company.

It’s unformatted that the utility company is failing to answer and address some of the consumer related concerns that are being raised and this questions on the company’s effectiveness and efficiency.

This is a matter in which CUTS Lusaka has written to the LWSC management on behalf of Ester Ngwenya, holder of account number 01005979 of Plot Number 30/21, Luangwa/Garden site, seeking clarification over a matter concerning the non delivery of the service which she however, has been paying for. Over the past months Ngwenya has been receiving water bills which she has committed to pay but to no avail, as she has hardly received any drop of water since July 2010.

As a consumer body CUTS Lusaka got interested in this matter because there are a number of other such cases that go unnoticed and unchallenged. Paying for a service that is hardly delivered is a consumer violation that should be condemned in worst terms and given the much needed redress.

The letter, signed by CUTS Lusaka Board Chair, Ambassador Love Mtesa, was sent on October 18, 2010 with a copy to Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Water Development, National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) and Zambia Competition Commission.

Constant follow ups have been made but to no avail. Further, on October 28, 2010, the letter was resent after it came to CUTS’ attention. In this regard, CUTS Lusaka take this opportunity to give the utility company a 48hrs ultimatum to answer some of the concerns raised or will consider lodging the complaint with NWASCO. Consumers should be provided with adequate information about such occurrences and contracts.

CUTS has commended the action taken by the Nkana Water and Sewerage Company to hoard supply after a contamination alert. Safe drinking water and basic sanitation have a strong positive effect on human health. The utility should conduct a thorough investigation on the matter and ensure that there is certainty among consumers. However, this action should be expedited as the service of high demand as consumers can not live a day without it.

CUTS is a non-governmental organisation advocating for social justice in the quest to ensure that the consumer welfare is protected. As a consumer body, the organisation speaks out for the voiceless consumers and advocates for a fair playing field between the business and consumer welfare.