4 February, 2023

NRWB given till April 2023 to compensate communities

The Malawi Human Rights Commission(MHRC) has faulted the Northern Region Water Board(NRWB) for violating the rights of some communities in Mzuzu in the implementation of a water development project.

MHRC instituted investigations on a complaint that was presented by communities in Mzuzu following a water project which is being co-funded by the European Investment Bank and government.

The MHRC investigation found that NRWB implemented a water project in Chipambo and Geisha without thorough engagement, consultation and unjustifiable compensation.

The project has this far affected nearly 400 residents of three communities, a development which has brought misunderstanding on the right amounts necessary for compensating the affected households.

MHRC commissioner Sunduzwayo Madise has highlighted that there were a number of human rights conventions that were breached following the chaotic implementation of the project by the water board.

Madise has since directed the board to put everything to rest by April next year.

Director of Administration at NRWB Dongakhulu Hlongo has committed to adhere to the recommendations set by MHRC.

Hlongo adds that over K50 million has so far been given out as compensations

“We will adhere to the recommendations, we know that we will have to be assisted by the department of lands with regard to valuations of property, but we will definitely adhere to the recommendations” Hlongo said.

Representative of the affected communities Les Mauluka has expressed delight at the recommendations made by the commission.

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