By Brian Longwe

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has demanded prosecution of all officers from Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) whose negligence of duty resulted into providing its customers with stale water.

This comes after the commission conducted a thorough investigation to discover the motive that led to Area 18 residents consuming sewage water in the month of July last year.

Public Hearing report that MHRC has released on the matter discovered that the saga was caused in the area following the blockage of man-hole out of which the sewage was flowing.

“The Lilongwe Water Board pipe taking water to the affected area burst. Officers only stopped the flow of water but never maintained the burst water pipe, hence, letting the spillage to occur” reads the report.

The report also faulted Lilongwe City Council and Malawi housing Corporation for leaving a broken sewer line unattended to, for a long time.

While presenting the report during press briefing in Lilongwe, Commissioner Bertha Sefu spit fire on Lilongwe Water Board officers’ act of failing to maintain their broken pipe in the affected area, calling the behaviour unconstitutional.

Sefu therefore called upon Director of Public Prosecution and the Law Commission of Malawi to prosecute all authorities responsible for the saga and make sure that the victims are respectively compensated.

Sefu added “in this case, people’s rights to clean and safe drinking water, right to good health and right to human dignity were violated. The officers committed an offence of criminal negligence in line with section 148 of the Water Resources Authority or any other law expediently.”

In an interview, the chairperson for the Area 18 residents Leonard Phiri commended the commission for pursuing the case further in regards of welfare of the victims.

Phiri explained “the case is in the hands of Lilongwe high court and we expect that the truth should prevail.”

“This caos affected 1500 individuals equivalent to 350 households in the area, and we expect each household to be compensated with MK4 million, failing to do so, the law shall take its course.” Phiri said.

In a related development, MHRC will soon release a report concerning oil spillage by Sunseed manufacturing company in Gongweya village, Lilongwe.