Unbilled water supply is around 40% – ARME

The average supply of unbilled water is around 40 percent (%), points out the Annual Report on Water and Sanitation Services in Cape Verde (RASAS-2022), prepared by the Multisectoral Regulation Agency (ARME).

May 16, 2024 - 04:06
May 16, 2024 - 04:10
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Unbilled water supply is around 40% – ARME
Unbilled water supply is around 40% – ARME

The information was provided today by the president of ARME, Leonilde dos Santos, at the opening of the workshop on awareness raising, prevention, inspection and repression of water theft and fraud, taking place in the City of Praia.

“The situation of fraud and water theft in Cape Verde, particularly in Santiago, is a reality that concerns ARME, as a regulatory agency in terms of its duties of protecting the economic and financial balance of service providers and consumers”, noticed.

Leonilde dos Santos also mentioned the case study of the company Águas de Santiago (AdS), carried out in 2019 in the neighborhood of Achada Santo António in the City of Praia, which shows that of the 63% of unbilled water, 54% are losses caused by theft and fraud.

“The data we have just mentioned calls us to a deep reflection on the need for the entire existing legal framework with regard to the classification, prevention, supervision and repression of theft and fraud offenses, to address this situation”, warned Leonilde dos Santos, arguing that more than a sanctioning approach, there is a need for pedagogical action for water literacy.

Therefore, he pointed out that this situation should concern all “players” in this sector, namely management entities, regulators, consumers, the National Police and the Judiciary.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Agrarian Economy, Miguel da Moura, who opened the event, warned about this issue which, in his view, goes beyond theft and theft, considering that economic losses must be taken into account and physics.

“We have losses that result from management inefficiencies and others due to theft and robbery. It is in this context that the Government is concerned, which is why a series of initiatives are currently taking place in Praia to improve water efficiency”, he explained.

However, he recalled that more than this, each citizen is responsible, warning that water theft could lead to the reintroduction of waterborne diseases in Cape Verde with the entry of pathogens into the water system.

“We are in danger of introducing these diseases due to theft and theft, with the improper use of water from the system, which causes contamination of the network”, he explained.

The workshop held by ARME aims to identify the criminal protection mechanisms necessary to hold those who commit acts of water theft and fraud accountable and discourage them from such practices.

The meeting includes the intervention of the company AdS, the Attorney General's Office and at the end a document will be prepared with proposals and recommendations for managing entities for faster and more effective action in combating water theft and fraud.

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