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Prepaid Metering System

WASCO signed a Performance Agreement with the World Bank in 2004 which amongst others requires the Company to sustain itself financially. To facilitate this process an improvement of debt collection through installation of pre-paid water meters in designated areas within Maseru has been instituted.

A pilot project on pre-paid meters at Hillsview in Maseru revealed the benefits for both customers and WASCO. At present, only 2000 pre-paid meters are being installed in designated areas in Maseru .

Where have they been installed and/or to be installed in Maseru ?

Ha Hoohlo, Maseru West, Hillsview, Old, New and Police Europa, White City , Moshoeshoe II, Stadium Area, Letsie and Kuena Flats, Lower Thetsane, Arrival Centre, Happy Villa, part of Mohalalitoe , Lesotho College of Education as well as Friebel.
 
 

  How are they used?

The device requires consumers to pay for water before consumption by purchasing a prepaid card. Consumers can then draw water from the meter by inserting the prepaid card into the meter and collecting the water in a portable container. As service is delivered, the balance is adjusted, and the remaining credit displayed. Service is automatically terminated if the payment balance is depleted until the consumer can pay again.

Benefits include:

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Guaranteed cost recovery since water consumption is prepaid

Substantial cost savings and recovery of capital expenditure especially in administrative expenses (example: billing and collection)

Disconnection of water supply is carried out by the consumer instead of by the companies, since service automatically terminates once funds are depleted

Reduced water consumption

Quick detection of water theft or leaks

Reduction in customer queries that usually take a lot of time to resolve, as the device enables the consumers to monitor their own water consumption as the meter displays credit amount remaining thereby alerting the consumer as to how much remains in the token.

 

  How to pay for your water 
  1. Go to WASCO headquarters, post office, Shoprite outlets and vendors where there will be a cashier or a person to sell you as much water as you want.

  2. You decide how much water you can afford. You are expected to pay a monthly standing charge of Twenty five Maloti, ninety Lisente (M25.90) for the new system.

  3. The cashier/vendor will take the money you have paid and transfer it into your token.

  4. This token has a handle and a “magnetic” disc which contains your meter number and the amount of water you have bought. [view brochure]

  5. Press the token firmly against this part of the meter, where there is a touch port.

  6. Your meter has now been instructed to deliver the amount of water you purchased. You can check to see if the amount of water you have purchased is correct by reading the numbers on the dial.

  7. When you have three thousand litres (3000L) the water will stop to remind you to take your token to WASCO headquarters, post office or vendors to buy more water. To use the last 3000 litres of water, touch the token firmly against the hole in the meter as described in point number 5.

Remember: The token belongs to you only. It will not work on other meters. Keep your token safe. Do not lose your token; it is your proof of payment and your personal key to giving your family water. If you lose your token you have to purchase a new one. If your token does not work properly go back to WASCO, post office or vendors and report it.

Take note of the following important points:

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If you have a leaking tap or toilet cistern you will use up your water supply very quickly. You will be able to see on your own meter if you have a leak on your premises.

If anybody tampers, interferes or vandalizes your meter the supply of water to your house will stop.



Touch Port - Place you token against this space to instruct the meter to deliver water.

Stop tap: Turn this handle to stop the water to your house. You must turn your water off before doing any repairs to taps or toilet cistern.

Credit Window: Look at the numbers here to see how much credit you have left to use before buying more water using your own token.

If you do not understand these instructions ask your customer care staff to personally explain to you how you can buy water for your family using this prepaid procedure.
 

  Other Services


Other services provided by WASCO to the public are public stand pipes which mainly cater for members of the community who cannot afford to pay for individual supply of water in their premises. The public stand pipes are divided into the following three categories

1. Shared Water Points
The public taps are controlled by the community through elected community committees. They take the responsibilities of listing the names of families, which will draw water from the tap.

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The committee in agreement with the public to be served may set the times when water should be drawn.

The taps are locked and opened at the agreed times when the people have collected their share for the day.

The committee collects the money from the users of the tap and pay WASCO's water bill on monthly basis.


2. Kiosk

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The structure is a small brick room with a water tank on top of the building, with the supply taps inside the room. The taps are connected to the extended hosepipes to enable the buyer's bucket to be filled outside the room.

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This system (water café) is managed by the community through elected committee and is open throughout the day till the evening.

There is a fulltime clerk to sell water on cash to any person who wants to buy water.

The seller is the employee of the community and the committee pays him at the end of the month after the water bill has been paid.

The community takes 60% of the water proceeds while WASCO takes 40%.

The water is sold on cash basis to the public at the rate of M0/20 per 20 Litre bucket while it is bought from WASCO at a rate of M0.08 per 20 Litre bucket.


Water kiosks present an effective way of delivering safe drinking water to urban communities where there is a basic domestic supply network in place. The supply network may lack the capacity to support the connection of individual households but water kiosks offer a way to dispense drinking water using existing capacity.

 


3. Prepaid Water System (Water Cards)

The structure is less expensive than the kiosk

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The system operates like telephone card system or electricity prepaid meters and each person buys his own water card or token in advance and draws water as per his/her requirements.
 

 
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