The National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) is currently working on manufacturing prepaid metres to avoid imports that would in the long run impose a huge burden on consumers.
According to Dr Silver Mugisha, the NWSC Managing Director, their engineers are advancing an invention for a software and the circuit system such that the country can set up its own prepaid metres without creating a heavy burden on consumers.
“Our IT team recently developed an internal billing system and the corporation saved a lot of money. The team has started working on various innovations to ensure that the technology is rolled out. This will save us money to invest in service delivery projects,” he said during the 24th annual seminar of certified public accountants in Entebbe at the weekend.
NWSC, in its 2018-2021 corporate plan, also is planning to set up a local metre assembling pant to reduce delays that are experienced while importing water meters.
“The cost of buying a prepaid water metre is about Shs3m. A normal metre is, I think about Shs60,855. The issue is how do we replace all the normal metres with prepaid meters? We have 600,000 multiply by Shs3m. If that is the money, who will pay for it, will it be through the tariff or a donation?” he said.
Dr Mugisha said that apart from the cost installation and migrating customers there are other attendant costs such as maintenance, which would also require the water agency to put in place a specialised, would lead to an increase in cost of water.
While the metres can be acquired in Uganda, prepaid metres, he said, require software which is not developed locally.
NWSC has already installed prepaid metres in water theft spots and low earning areas such as Kawempe, Bwaise, Kisenyi and government institutions such police barracks.
“I do not know whether Nsambya Police Barracks is in supply but the prepaid meters had cut them off,” he said.
He was responding to a query from one of the accountants at the seminar organised by ICPAU under the theme “Financial Management for sustainability.”
The corporation will also develop partnerships in the production of pellets and bio fuel through sewage sludge reuse.