Capital Radio Malawi
17 July, 2024

Communities in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabilabo in Mzimba have commended Ministry of Water and Sanitation for constructing two solar-powered water schemes in their areas.

The establishment of the schemes has brought smiles on the people’s faces, as it marks the end of water woes which they have been grappling with for years.

Salome Gausi of Jamu Village in the area expressed gratitude that the community can now access potable water, courtesy of the K2 billion Msaka and Champhira Water Supply Schemes Project.

‘‘We used to wake up early in the morning to go out, fetching for water from unprotected sources where even livestock and wild animals drink from. We are now saved from both the distance of over a kilometre to where we were fetching water as well as water-borne diseases,’’ said Gausi.

Another community member, Lilian Moyo, of Group Village Head Germany Nthala, said some families were shaken because of the lack of potable water within the vicinity.

‘‘Some husbands used to accuse their wives of flirting with other men at the water source because of delaying in returning home as the sources are at far away distant places.

“So, with water taps at our doorsteps, all the problems are history. The two water schemes have brought back bliss in marriages,’’ said Moyo.

Speaking recently when he toured the schemes which are at a 90 percent completion, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Elias Chimulambe, said the project is being implemented under the Malawi Resilient and Disaster Risk Management Project funded by the World Bank.

“People in these areas for so many years have been getting water from swampy sources, hence the project,” said Chimulambe.

He added that though some works are yet to be completed, people have already started drawing water from some taps which have been installed in the villages.

“Commissioning of the project awaits its full completion by 30 May 2024 and the project will also benefit people in some villages under T/A Simulemba in Kasungu,” said Chimulambe.

According to the principal secretary, when fully operational, the schemes are expected to serve a population of over 89,000. Champhira Scheme will cater for 80,000 people while Msaka Scheme has a capacity to serve about 9,000 people.

“Government is committed to constructing more water schemes in rural areas of the county, as one way of providing people with potable water thereby promoting desired water and hygiene standards,” he said.

Chimulambe said construction of such infrastructure will address water challenges for people living in rural areas thereby meeting government’s aspirations in making sure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, as stipulated in the country’s Sustainable Development Goals.

‘‘We will therefore continue constructing these types of schemes in all other areas of the country to deal away with handheld boreholes which we are phasing out,’’ he said.

He added that the ministry is discouraging construction of hand held boreholes and that it is promoting piped water supply schemes.

He also said the ministry will train members of Mzimba South Water Users Association (WUA) in management of the two schemes for efficient utilisation and care.

According to chairperson of Mzimba South Water Users Association, Speck Chiumia, the scheme will contribute towards preventing water borne diseases

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