Building Capacity and Improving Financial Performance
Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) is a commercial utility with a mandate to provide water and sanitation services within Lusaka province in Zambia, which has a population of approximately 2.82 million. LWSC serves approximately 90 percent of the population in the urban and peri-urban areas – high-density, unplanned neighborhoods largely comprised of economically disadvantaged residents who largely rely on water kiosks and pit latrines.
Water supply is sourced from surface water (43%) and ground water (57%). The average daily production is approximately 250,000 m3/day but the demand is approximately 495,000 m3/day. Only 17% of the service area is connected by the sewer system.
The key challenges facing LWSC are limited water production and wastewater reticulation and treatment capacity, aged infrastructure, high non-revenue water (NRW), climate variability leading to reduced water production, and significant debt collection from its private and public customers.
ROCKBlue began its partnership with LWSC in June 2018, initially providing assistance
with their performance improvement plan to help meet their targets in the areas of revenue collection and debt management, NRW, and staff morale, as well as guidance on engaging consultants.
The advent of COVID in early 2020 significantly impacted LWSC’s ability to make substantial progress towards these goals as they observed revenues dropping by nearly 40 percent during the height of the pandemic. ROCKBlue advised LWSC in the development of an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and organized a partners conference in June 2020 to solicit finance from its international financing partners to support its ERP.
Through the end of 2020, however, LWSC was able to collect over $800,000 in past debts, and replaced meters along its main transmission lines to help better quantify and reduce NRW. LWSC plans to increase production capacity by 50,000 m3/day in 2021.