By OLIVER SAMBOKO
GOVERNMENT has concluded negotiations for downward adjustment of electricity tariffs for water utility companies in the country.
Ministry of Water Development public relations officer, Amos Zulu, said negotiations to reduce electricity tariffs for water utility companies had been concluded and were awaiting approval.
Water Development Minister Dr Jonas Chanda said high electricity tariffs were constraining the operations of water utility companies, hence the decision to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Dr Chanda said this in Choma when he inspected a solar powered plant used by Southern Water Supply and Sanitation Company, as an alternative source of energy.
He said the meeting involving his ministry, the Ministry of Energy, Zesco Limited and the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), proposed that electricity tariffs for utility companies be classified under the social tariff in the lower brackets to reduce operational costs.
Government, he said, was concerned about the impact of high electricity tariffs on water utility companies which had led to about 40 percent loss in revenue.
Dr Chanda said that other issues discussed during the meeting included the outstanding debt owed to utility companies by government institutions.
The arrears, he said, were being dismantled through a plan to deduct from source and ensure utility companies remain afloat.
He said the meeting also tackled stalled projects and the Ministry of Finance assured of increased funding to ensure that provision of water and sanitation services were enhanced.
Dr Chanda said in an effort to provide universal access to water and sanitation for all, Government would continue funding the sector.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO