Malawai’s capital city, Lilongwe, will pilot pre-paid water meters in a bid to reduce billing disputes between the Lilongwe Water Board and its customers.

The water utility in the south-east African country said it had sourced prepaid meters and was ready to roll them out to different parts of the city.

The pilot phase is to test public reaction to the meters and to help reduce growing conflicts about bill settlement.

Trevor Phoya, public relations officer at Lilongwe Water Board, said: “[Prepaid meters] will also reduce our workload as our staff won’t have to be running around delivering bills and water disconnections to customers who fail to timely settle their bills.”

Under the new system, customers will use a smart card which can be topped up at established pay points.

A similar system is being used in Zambia, Uganda and Lesotho.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s Northern Region Water Board has completed a pilot phase with positive feedback from customers according to local media reports.

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