WASCO owed M140 million

WASCO owed M140 million

MASERU – THE Water and Sewerage Company (Wasco) says it is owed over M140 million by residents and companies.
Futho Hoohlo, the Wasco chief executive, revealed the staggering debt at a staff meeting yesterday.
Hoohlo told the staff that due to the debt the company is unable to meet some of its obligations and fund projects.
He said there was need to improve efficiency to reduce the crippling losses and collect more revenue.

To illustrate the lack he noted that 40 percent of the treated water from Wasco does not generate revenue because it is lost before it reaches the taps.
This he said is way above the Lesotho Water and Electricity Authority (Lewa)’s threshold of 20 percent. Hoohlo said he is aware that Wasco staff is demotivated and demoralised because of low wages and poor working conditions.

“One of the measures to improve staff morale would be through increasing the measly salaries that the staff currently gets,” Hoohlo said.
“The current salaries embarrass us, they need to change and as we move towards developing the new strategic plan these issues need to be addressed.”
Hoohlo encouraged staff to look for new ways to generate revenue for the company.

“We do not make enough money and this calls for revenue stream diversification,” he said.
“Let us look into a water testing laboratory, we can upgrade our lab and offer water testing services for everyone. Think of maybe using sewage to produce electricity like other countries.”
He suggested that perhaps the company should invest in research and partner with tertiary institutions.

Hoohlo also heard from employees who complained of being overworked and underpaid.
They said while they have to make do with limited resources money is being spent on unnecessary material and old water pipes are not being repaired or replaced.

Nkaleche Matjole, an employee, said they are working with old water pipes but they are expected to meet their targets for new connections.
He said the storeroom is empty and it takes them ages to get the right material.
Hoohlo said he will work to create a conducive environment to improve productivity.

“We spend most of our time at work and need to have cordial working relationships,” Hoohlo said.
“Support each other and be each other’s keeper.”
Hoohlo said it is time to close the gap that exists between staff and management.
He said he wants to build a strong team that delivers.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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