Written by Innocencia Chikuse
Despite being a lakeshore area, most areas in Monkey-Bay lack safe and clean water. It is saddening to watch Times Television documentaries highlighting the plight of people of Mangochi Monkey-Bay as far as this problem is concerned.
Responding to the upsetting situation, one of the sons of Monkey-Bay, Gerald Kazembe, over the past two weeks has drilled four boreholes which are all operational in Chipansi village at Nakundu school in Monkey-bay, Kalumba II Village in Monkey-bay and the remote villages of Katikati and Namikoko.
“I believe that access to clean and safe water is a right and not a privilege and it was therefore paining me to see that my people, especially in Katikati and Namikoko drinking from dirty and dangerous swamps while sharing with animals such as Monkeys and Snakes,” he said saying I was morally obligated to help.
Asked to disclose how much it costs to drill one borehole, Kazembe, who has drilled a good number of boreholes in the area said the question of cost is neither here nor there.
“Granted, it’s expensive but that is off the point. What matters most is to take such a problem seriously and provide the much-needed potable water to our people,” he said.
He urged people of goodwill, to help those in need of clean water wherever they are.
“We should not wait for Non-Governmental Organizations to help our people. If we have resources, let’s step in and drill boreholes deep in the hinterlands where there is great need for such interventions,” he said.
The United Nations, in 2015, outlined what they dubbed, Sustainable Development Goals, where access to clean water and sanitation is one of the goals which member states must strive to achieve by 2030.
It’s posited that clean water protects people from disease, yet three in 10 people lack access to it and therefore, such efforts as that of Kazembe would go a long way in contributing to achieving this goal.
“How if many private individuals emulate the aggressive example of Kazembe in providing potable water to their own communities, we would achieve this goal even before 2025,” said John Mwale, a Monkey-Bay resident.
Kazembe is a member of the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) which is in alliance with UTM and other seven political parties including People’s Party (PP) of the former president Joyce Banda.