A survey showed that Zambians consider the settling of water bills as a least priority on their expenditure list, according to a report on the tariff impact assessment survey conducted by the National Water and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) between January and March this year.
The survey was conducted in Lusaka, Kitwe, Solwezi, Livingstone and Mongu, Zambia Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
Zambians would rather spend money on other competing needs than on payment of water bills, according to the survey.
"As Zambians, we have taken water for granted, the value attached to water is so low," said NWASCO director Osward Chanda who presented the survey report.
He urged people to stop considering water as a free commodity if Zambian has to attain sustainable and quality service in water provision.
He said water consumers should start appreciating the cost of providing water services to understand charges associated with receiving the commodity.
Most respondents are unaware about the cost attached to providing water and most of them do not know that maintenance of equipment is expensive, he said.
The survey also showed that consumers in the lower income brackets use more water than those highly paid because the low paid consumers are generally ignorant about water conservation.
Chanda is optimistic that conservation attitudes will change if people become aware that they will pay less if they use less water.