The effectiveness of public-private partnership (management contract) in providing water: Nkana West, kitwe

Thumbnail Image
Ng'andu, Titus
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Following the privatization of ZCCM, there has been a change in the provision of water, that is, from ZCCM to AHC- MMS which in turn has engaged Saur International under management contact. Residents of Nkana West have been complaining about this arrangement that it is not efficient and that they are being billed for water which they do not use. The study aimed at assessing the efficiency of management contract in the provision of water in Nkana West. Questionnaires and non scheduled interviews were used by the researcher in order to realize the objectives of the study. The sample size of 50 respondents was used. Cluster sampling was used with the combination of interval sampling in order to overcome the limitations of the former in not considering all the elements. The study revealed that management contract was opted for by government in order to harness finances, knowledge of technologies, managerial efficiency and experience of the private operator so as to ensure sustainability in the provision of water to the former mine township. Among others, management contract offers the following advantages: management contract reduces the commercial risk to the private operator since it is not as complicated as other options like concessions; with the government remaining with the role of monitoring and evaluating the progress made by the private operator, residents can not be exploited by the former in terms of bills and tarrifs. During the tenure of ZCCM water supply was 24 hours service as indicated by the response from respondents. Following the transition in the provision of the service , AHC through Saur has tried to maintain the standards by ensuring that the area is supplied with water 24 hours. Most people indicated that they had water 24 hours, that is ,78% while 22% of the respondents did not. Residents of Nkana West were not billed during the time of ZCCM .The advent of AHC brought about the billing system . Most of the people in the area are happy with the billing system, though there are problems like bills not being delivered in time and water not being metered. Apart from the problems experienced in the billing system, residents of Nkana West complained of leakages, brown water especially during the rain season, and not being notified in advance about shutdowns when maintenance work of the water network was going on. A number of measures have been put in place in order to mitigate some of the problems experienced by the residents like holding meetings with civic leaders and meeting the community. The partnership, that is, between AHC and Saur experiences some problems like that of not following their roles as outlined in the contract. A number of measures have been put in place in order to resolve them, for example, constant reference to the signed contract, and showing practical demonstration from each side to justify its course of action.
Water supply-Community , Water-utility