Water woes resurface in Blantyre

There is no end in sight to water woes in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre as the problem has resurfaced barely two days after the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) restored water supply in the city.

A woman drawing water from an unprotected well in Manja Township in Blantyre due to water scarcity- Photo by Lucky Mkandawire

A woman drawing water from an unprotected well in Manja Township in Blantyre due to water scarcity

Last week the city had no running water for four days and this forced Queens Elizabeth Central Hospital to suspend surgical operations due to dry taps.

The problem was attributed to bursting of main supply pipe that distributes water to various parts of the city form Walker’s Ferry near Makata Industrial Site.

After it was fixed last Thursday, BWB through their spokesperson Priscilla Mateyu assured water users that all areas that were affected will start receiving water, but things are different on the ground.

Most parts only had running water on Friday and Saturday before the taps drying again.

Meanwhile, there are fears that if the critical water shortage is not addressed on time might
result into outbreak of water-related diseases.

Writing in her column ‘Social Musings’ in The Daily Times, Lorraine Lusinje said authorities have been aware of the problem and “we patiently awaited improvements”, but now things have gone from “worse to horrible”.

“What is interesting is the bills always pile up still and get higher every other month, the less water coming out, the higher the bills get,” she says.

Lusinje further said this is abuse of human freedoms and well being.

“Imagine a company with about 300 people confined to single a compound with no running water in sight,” she queries!

She said in most residential areas people are forced to look for water in unhealthy places.

She said the situation is worrisome considering that some families with little babies and toddlers are being forced to use unclean water for such “fragile” and “vulnerable” little humans.

“I think is this really worrisome and a disgrace to development. No mother wants to bath their little baby in stagnant, filthy water.

“It is simply insane for the nation to have continuous water problems that keep getting worse. When people have no access to water, its as good as having no access to life; it is a grave violation of people’s well being,” she adds.

Executive Director of Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) John Kapito also said BWB lack common sense and does not consider effects of such water scarcity.

Kapito expressed shock with the continued scarcity of water that has also affected operations of most critical sectors such as Hospitals, Schools, the hospitality industry and domestic consumers.

For the past two years, water only comes out for few hours and then it is gone until the following day.

BWB has not explained why the problem has resurfaced after assuring their customers of water supply.

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Parallel Market
My countrymen, water crisis in Blantyre as well as other cities and towns in Malawi and many African countries is not new. Many have talked it over and over and over. Many provided written solutions contained in beautiful consultancy reports on water infrastructure upgrades in order to cope with increasing water supply population in our cities and towns. Many meetings have been held to discuss and understand these reports over and over and over. Just talking, writing, criticising, etc, no work, no implementation of water infrastructure projects. Governments in Africa do not invest in water supply facilities. They depend on… Read more »
Ma battery a mlakho

Indeed Lake Malawi belongs to Tanzania and Shire river to Mozambique.Lets just give them back to them.They can utilize them better than we assholes.


Fire the entire management at BWB because of their incompetency. How can a place called city having no running water like that. How will the visitors grade the country. Mr President deal with the entire management including its board of directors. Let the Southern Region Water Board come in to assist this water facility. I am a batcher who can not go to the wel to drow water. You people in authority what do you think ?



nchiani kodi amalawi

hahahaa… koma airline

victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi
victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi

It’s more of administrative problem than engineering problem. And see their pay slips and bonuses, —HUGE. Christmas and New Year bonuses are coming—See bonuses of Water Boards, ESCOM and Press Holdings. Their Chief Executives get more than half the salaries of all ordinary civil servants summed-up. Chikaondas—–the whole ministry’s budget.


in Kanjedza it is now worse as people have stayed for more than to weeks without running water. where do you expect people to survive in such a situation. BWB, its high time , you need to be proactive. And please we don’t want your bills as you are very good to raise them and reap where you did not sow.

In mw we have incompetency frm the top! Better a white CEO, not a black one! Malawi have plenty of running water frm Karonga to Nsanje, Bt itself has Ndirande hills, Soche hills, and even Chiradzulo mountains which i believe have plent water whch could supply water, but we havent got the brains to use them supply water. If Lutchenza and Thyolo getting water frm Mulanje Mountains without adding any pressure why not nature/ pipe that that water and suppliment some parts of Chigumula, Bangwe; Soche mountain just need a gud dam, is and can supply water to Soche, Chilobwe,… Read more »

Iwe kardashian, mbuli ngati iwe uti chani? Ngati uli wozindikira ukulolera bwanji kumalamulidwa ndi mbuzi mpaka zaka 50? Anganya simungalamulire malawi mwamva? Kwanuko mwathawathawako kudzadzazana kumwera kuno, kuthawa umphawi. ATM munkaidziwa inu? Nanga maroboti? Usandisanzitse mbuli iwe


Isn’t this what Malawians love? Water is life, indeed.

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