Chief executive officers for Blantyre Water Board, Lilongwe Water Board, Northern Region Water Board and Central Region Water Board, have disclosed that water boards in the country are owed a total of K15 billion.
This has come to light after the CEOs appeared before the Natural Resources and Climate Change Cluster of Parliament.
Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) such as health, education, Malawi Defence Force, Ministry of Lands, Police and Prison Services are some of the major culprits.
The CEOs lamented that the huge arrears they are owed are stifling efforts to implement projects to improve water supply to customers.
Reacting to the issue, Ministry of Finance officials disclosed that in the 2023/24 National Budget, the government has set aside K5 billion to help the MDAs settle some of their outstanding water bills.
And to help the Water Boards implement projects aimed at improving water supply, the Ministry of Water will allow the water utility companies to effect proposed water tariffs.
The tariffs were suspended last October, at the peak of cholera.
However, the new tariffs will exempt low-income earners such as those that use water kiosks, considering the current economic situation.