SALIMA-(MaraviPost) – The country’s clean water crisis remains unabated and efforts towards addressing waterborne disease may continue to be hampered with fresh revelation that about 7,000 household in Salima North-West Constituency are wrestling for a single borehole.
This is one of the typical examples on how the clean water crisis has reached in the country after 53 years of independence.
A visit by The Maravi Post to the area on Sunday particularly at Matumba, Traditional Authority (T.A) Nkhombedza, shows that women and young girls could wait for not less than six hours to draw water from the borehole.
The decade-old bolehole is the only hope for the communities’ craving for clean water despite the fact that it is not dependable as it continuously functions in an on-and-off basis.
In the same constituency, the entire TA Makanjira does not have a borehole as communities rely on water from rivers and lake Malawi for their household chores.
The development prompted Water Mission and Christian Services, a local faith organizations, to respond to the crisis by fixing the oldest borehole and planning to drill about five extra towards solving water and sanitation challenges.
Random interviews with the community members revealed shocking incidences including high school drop outs, marital fights, escalation of water borne diseases which are all as a result of the communities’ poor access to clean water.
“We have been living with this borehole since 1946. But with the growing of the population the borehole is failing to serve us all as the demand is high. Our children go to school around 10:00 am as they have to wait for their turn to draw water, ” said Esnart Fred of GVH Kunkhonga in the constituency
“Even marriages are in disarray as most of us, women, wake up as early as 3:00am to fetch water which doesn’t please most husbands. With the coming in of Water Mission and Christian Services in consultation with our Member of Parliament (MP) Jessie Kabwira, the bolehole will be fixed and plans to drill more will address the crisis which we can’t continue to bare with,” added Esnart Fred.
MP Kabwira who donated funds for the completion of the borehole renovation lauded the two organizations for responding very quickly to the challenge.
The lawmaker therefore urged government to increase Community Development Funds (CDF) from MK18 million to MK30 million annually.
“With the water crisis hitting hard in most local communities, the best thing is for government to allocate more resources in CDF which will directly meet villagers’ needs including construction of more boreholes,” urges Kabwira.