Blantyre Water Board (BWB) says it is need of K21 billion bailout from government to settle down electricity bills which it has with Escom.
According to Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources Dr Yanira Ntupanyama, the Board pays about K1.2 billion monthly to Escom as electricity bills.
Dr Ntupanyama added that the BWB uses a lot of electricity to pump water because of Blantyre’s landscape.
She said: “They are not doing well because of electricity bills because of the train, the landscape of Blantyre, so they have to pump up water using a lot of electricity.
So their bills are unbelievable because they have to pay over a billion every month, they cannot be able to sustain themselves on this. I think that’s why they had put it in around strategy.”
Meanwhile, the responsible Committee of Parliament on Natural Resources and Climate Change has described Blantyre Water Board’s request as justifiable.
“So indeed, if BWB is not bailed out, the consequences will be that they will not be able to operate.
“There would just be paying Escom all the monies that they collect, so by the end of the day it will be the people of Blantyre who suffer after BWB decides to shutdown the activities.
“So, I would do you think that is justifiable that indeed they should be bailed out,” said Welani Chilenga, chairperson of the committee.
Chilenga has assured Ntupanyama that the House will deliberate on the bailout once convenes next month, February.