Tired of poor services, empty promises and persistent water woes, Bangwe residents in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre, have given Blantyre Water Board (BWB) a seven-day ultimatum to restore continuous supply of clean water or face mass demonstrations.
Early this year, BWB assured its customers that the problem would come to an end following the rehabilitation of its Nkula pumping facility and the construction of the new reservoirs at Soche and Chigumula in January, but nothing has changed, the sitaution is getting worse.
The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has since asked other communities in the central business district to join Bangwe residents in demanding their rights, warning that failure to do so would result in BWB taking the residents for granted.
Other affected areas include Nkolokosa, Chilobwe, Zingwangwa, Soche East, Manja, Nancholi, Manase, Ndirande, Chilomoni and Chimwankhunda.
The residents are also bitter because BWB still squeeze them with water bills despite having no water for months now.
At the moment, people in the commercial city are fetching water from swamps and other protected water sources.
“Am failing to understand why Malawi is struggling with problem. They promised that it (problem) would be a thing of past, but the situation is getting worse.
“Do these people really know when they say water is life? They are taking us for granted; it high we took them to task for failing to provide us with water,” said Stort Chirwa, a resident of Zingwangwa .
One of the Chigumula residents, Yotamu Ndovi said if the Board fails to supply the area with, it should remove its meters in the area.
“BWB’s slogan is ‘Water is Life’. We, therefore, wonder we are being denied this life,” said Ndovi.
Cama Executive Director John Kapito, who early this year called for mass demonstrations against BWB over water woes, has welcomed Bangwe’s residents move, calling others communities to join them if they are to start getting continuous water supply in their areas.
Kapito observed that is it high time consumers started demanding their rights and taking to task all duty bearers who are not performing to people’s expectations.
BWB spokesperson, Priscilla Mateyu was not readily available for comment.
But Bangwe and Chigumula residents are this week expected to petition the Board over the problem.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :