The country’s consumer and human rights activist, John Kapito has taken a swipe at Blantyre Water Board (BWB) for its inefficiency in improving water scarcity which has reached critical situation in the residential areas and surrounding townships of Blantyre.
People especially women are walking long distances in search for water and most of them have resorted to unprotected sources, and some are relying on boreholes that are rarely found in the city.
Kapito who is also Executive Director for the country’s consumer watchdog the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) said BWB lacked common sense and does not consider effects of such water scarcity.
“Cama has been shocked with the continued scarcity of water in most parts of Blantyre and where such shortages and scarcity of water has also hit the most critical sectors such as Hospitals, Schools, the hospitality industry and domestic consumers,” said Kapito.
The outspoken human rights activist, who was weeks ago appointed board chairperson for Southern Region Water Board, could not mince words but to lambast BWB for failing to deliver better service to its customers.
“It is unbelievable that such an institution like Blantyre Water Board would fail to have little understanding of common sense on the effects that various institutions and individuals would experience if they cannot get water for long periods; it is shocking for us to start educating Blantyre Water Board how important water is to the many residents of Blantyre,” said Kapito.
He added: “It is unbelievable in this age and time for a provider of a strategic consumer product like water would take a holiday and abandon its responsibilities and be insensitive to the many people it serves within the city.”
Kapito was baffled that BWB could not listen to advice and was failing to have alternative strategies in place to deal with such critical scenarios.
“We have been advising them over and over several times that whenever they have technical challenges to supply water they must make sure that they have an alternative strategy to continue supplying water to consumers and this is common sense ,they should always hire bowsers and ensure that the communities are not denied access to water.”
There are fears that if the critical water shortage is not addressed on time might result into outbreak of water-related diseases with Kapito wondering how communities would deal with such situation if there is no water.
He has since warned BWB the consumers would take the law in their own hands and get the much needed water if the Board won’t restore water or provide Bowsers immediately.
Blantyre Water Board has since apologised for water outages with its public affairs officer Priscilla Mateyu attributing the problem to a burst main supply pipe from Walker’s Ferry near Makata Industrial Area.
Mateyu said the fault was fixed by 2pm on Thursday and that supply had been restored to over half of the city as the residence experience almost five days now without running water.
The problem of water scarcity has affected business in the commercial city including clinical operations at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), one of Malawi’s referral hospitals, which suspended surgical operations due to dry taps.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :