Consumers owe Bauchi Water Corporation 1bn unsettled bills- BSWC

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From Ahmad Saka, Bauchi
Bauchi State Water and Sewage Corporation (BSWSC) has cried that  water consumers owe the corporation  over one billion Naira of unsettled bills just as the body signs an MOU with civil society organizations (CSOs) to help galvanize public support for the corporations on-going reforms.
The Managing Director of the BSWSC, Engineer Aminu Aliyu Gital stated this during a meeting between USAID funded WASH coordination project (WCP), Network of Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) and the management of BSWSC in Bauchi, He said that  the CSO’s that of the twenty two thousand water consumers in its register only about one thousand and twenty customers often settled their monthly bills.
Aminu said “BSWSC water rate is one of the lowest in the country because we charge N500 for high density areas, N750 for housing estates and N1000 for residents of the GRA but despite government’s gestures, water consumers remain reluctant to settle this meager bills.
He said this huge unsettled debt was hindering the corporation from fulfilling its mandate of providing portable  water to the 20 Local Government Areas of the state “because of inadequate financial resources, the corporation has to restrict its services to Bauchi, the state capital”
Aminu outlines other challenges of the BSWSC to include huge maintenance cost associated with payment of NEPA bills, fueling of generating plants and purchase of chemicals, regretted that the last time any tangible investment was made in urban WASH was in 1992, about 25 years ago.
He said “We are ready to engage the CSOs to support our effort to sensitize the public on the need to settle their bills monthly in view of the fact that supply of portable drinking water has the potential to drastically reduce cost of treatment of water borne diseases”.
Earlier, Coordinator of WASH Coordination Project WCP (USAID supported project) Engineer Soni Elisha enumerated process of water supply loss to include loss intake, pumping, reservoir and backwash in the technical aspect while commercial. Loss is normally perpetrated by staff by way of offering discount, rebates, minimum billing and through cash collection.
Engineer Soni listed areas the CSOs could support BSWSC to include, water source monitoring, water treatment monitoring, water quality measurement from source to end point, water loss management including transmission and distribution to delivery point, system sustainability, use of appropriate tariff as well as investment and budget monitoring.
Meanwhile, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the BSWSC and Network of Society for Water and Sanitaion (NEWSAN), an umbrella body of CSOs working on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Bauchi state to concretize the partnership.

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