EASTERN Water and Sewerage Company is owed over K4 million in unpaid water bills by various customers.
Company managing director Lytone Kanowa said the unpaid water bills are affecting the quality of water and sewerage service delivery in the area.
Mr said this on Radio Breeze in Chipata on Friday.
â€œWe have over K4 million [outstanding money] which some customers are still owing us to date. We urge our customers to pay their bills to avoid disconnections,â€ Mr Kanowa said, adding that the water company will have no choice but to disconnect those that are owing.
Mr Kanowa said as Chipata is earmarked to be a city, there is need to position the company so that it continues to provide quality water and sewerage services.
He said the water company is also faced with a challenge where the locals are illegally building structures on its installations.
Mr Kanowa said residents are encroaching around the infrastructures where others are doing farming allowing fertilisers to be washed away into water reservoirs resulting into compromised quality of drinking water.
He said some residents have resorted to building houses on the sewer pipelines, an action that will result in the company to demolish such structures.
He said the company is engaging the municipalities in the province to resolve the matter before illegal structures are demolished.
On long-term plans, Mr Kanowa said the company is planning to have an overhaul of the water system after the on-going feasibility study is completed this June.
He said the German government and other partners have been supporting the company especially in the expansion of water purification plants.
Mr Kanowa said a new dam is being constructed in Katete to increase water supply to the district while dams in Chipata and Chadiza area being expanded.
The facelift on the water system was done over two decades ago, hence the need to expand the facilities in response to the growing population in the affected districts.