Pre-paid Metering

Communal Water Kiosks

In an effort to provide an efficient yet profit maximizing service, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) installed pre-paid meters at communal water Kiosks for a peri urban area in Lusaka, Kayama which is a high-density area. Each kiosk serves up to 1,000 residents in a day. This idea came after a series of capacity building interventions by various stakeholders such as the GIZ WAVEplus programme and the World Bank.

Contact: Topsy Sikalinda | topsyfbi(at) | Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company

Lessons Learnt

It is possible to reduce water wastage in peri-urban areas. The power each individual has to control his own water usage has remarkable benefits both to the residents themselves as well as Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company.


  1. Increase the number of people with access clean drinking water in the community
  2. Control water wastage
  3. Enhance collection efficiency
  4. Reduce administrative costs

Project Description

Lusaka water and Sewerage Company procured pre-paid meters which were specifically designed for communal water points using their own resources and installed them on about 4 kiosks.

The installation of these meters followed a session of sensitization with the community to educate them about the benefits of the project. The vendors welcomed the idea as it gave them leverage to do other things and not always be at the kiosk.

The token inserted into the pre-paid meter works like the Sim-card in a mobile phone. When purchased at K20, it also comes with K20 worth of water, after which, the client can purchase water for as less as 5ngwee (less than a USD cent) depending on what they can afford.


  1. Non revenue water or wastage is profoundly reduced
  2. The residents control via the token allows them 24/7 access to water, without the need of a kiosk attendant
  3. Time and other resources are saved on the part of LWSC as this eliminates the distribution of bills to each household
  4. Residents buy water as they go and so do not have to worry about disconnections


The other residential areas where this initiative is being piloted are Chowa, Sonadi, John Howard and some parts of Chawama. Other utilities are also in the process of replicating the practice.

WAVE Impact

The idea was reinforced after a series of WAVEplus training on CCO. Participants of the CCO and NRW trainings spearheaded the idea of prepaid meters and were instrumental in ensuring that the project was undertaken successfully, adopting the lessons learnt on community relations and marketing.