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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38 thoughts on “Water woes resurface in Blantyre”

  1. Parallel Market says:

    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 donors to assist us increase capacity of our water supply system. Normally these donors do so at their own pace with strings attached.

  2. Ma battery a mlakho says:

    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.

  3. peter says:

    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 ?

  4. Precious says:


  5. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    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.

  6. Nagama says:

    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.

  7. Mtupatupa says:

    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, Chimwankhunda, Soche East, while the water frm Ndirande hills can suppy in Ndirande, Magalasi, Machinjiri; Chiradzulu mountains dam can supply Chiradzulu, PIM, Yasini, Njuli, Mapanga down to some parts of Machinjiri/ Makhetha, and the Walkers Ferry could be supplying to the rest of the areas and filling the constructed dams some areas. But this is a crissis which need someone with brains and do what he thought. If we get cholera we will die silently becoz our hospitals have no medical drugs at all

  8. Nkhululu says:

    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

  9. patriot says:

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

  10. Martha says:

    A wota bod mukumatiwonjeza kwambiri. Madzi sakutuluka koma ma bill anu akumabwera okwera kwambiri , madzi ake mukumatchajawo ndi ati?????

  11. DRAKE says:

    The President and Minister of Water and Irrigation must intervene, the Employees at Blantyre water Board are taking advantage that the President is not saying anything. We cannot allow this incompitency prolong for so long, its either the residents of Blantyre to take the Law into their hands by storming water board offices and demand an explanation when our leaders are quiet. The Government must provide water bowsers to provide water in the townships because in Blantyre there is no flesh water stream and sewers have contaminated the underground water systems

  12. wakukaya says:

    Come to Nyika republic and learn from Northern Region Water Board.Big brains at work osati alomwe odya galu.Saziwa ntchito.

  13. kamyanja says:

    Hon. Minister. Dr. Allan Chipezayani and the PS Sandram Maweru responsible for water affairs, what are you doing at Tikwere? Can you please pump sense to these guys at BWB? APM please fire these guys if the solution is not found within 24 hours. Maweru ,you were backing up Thawe can you see the effects of what he has been doing for the past few years now.
    I am fed up with these guys now they have nothing to offer to this organisation. Do you really know how people are suffering in Blantyre? Eeeeeish please do something you guys

  14. Engineer says:

    Verson, the one at the helm of BWB now is not an Engineer, he is a business administrator. Get your facts right before you speak out…otherwise all water boards being run by engineers are not as problematic as that with a non engineer

  15. vindere says:

    I don’t know what kind of a country Southern region could be if they form their own country. Failing even to eradicate the problem of water.These people from the south are just thieves and parasites and nothing else. Had it been that there was no North and central helping them, they could have died along time ago.Stupid people.

  16. kanthu says:

    Ndipo ndisaone wina akubweretsa bill kwathu

  17. waterman says:

    The outgoing CEO A Thawe was busy with his secretaries and female accountants in his office while indications were there in black and white that there will be a water crisis in Blantyre,

    Si choncho Christina Njolwa, Kate Chilemba, Walu, Aggie Banda and Ruth Thindwa

  18. verson says:

    That’s the problem of hiring Engineers to manage organisations.

    1. phanke says:

      KUlikonse especially in Africa madzi akuvuta. Engineers are well places, whats wrong with that? If u are intelligent enough why cant u start ur own org to supply water in the city? Go to ethiopia, zimbabwe just to mention a few madzi akuvuta. Put the bursting pipe aside, how many people are accessing the water in the city and urban, rural etc? Besides, where are we getting the water from? shire? kumathamangila kunyoza bwanji, iwe umati alembe ma plumbers to run the org???

  19. Kalulu says:

    The authorities need to make serious moves at southern region water board as follows: dismiss the senior management and replace with competent people immediately. For those in Lilongwe and northen regional water board we do not want to see these incompetencies since this is equal to death!

  20. mkonda amalawi says:

    This is 2014 and people are still drawing water in some filthy unprotected wells and you claim Malawi has developed beyond recognition.
    Its sad really some people are reduced to this kind of poverty while some people had the audacity to donate uncountable to some corrupt parties.The Lutepos and other cashgate would have looked heroes if they built these people modern facilities of running water.Amalawi tilibe chikondi ndi anzathu.Timasangalala anzathu azimwa madzi andele chonchi yet we claim to be God fearing people..

  21. josephy chilekwa says:

    Abwelenso mai anja sinanga kunalibe iziiiiiii

  22. Kardashian says:

    And they call this a commercial city? What a joke! Wanganya, let’s just secede and build our own green economy in the Republic of Nyika. Being part of Malawi and being ruled by mbuzi for 50 years just keeps all of us down . Look how poor the country is…no water, fake doctors at QECH, no medicine, Chileka airport which looks like Lubumbashi, thieving ruling parties, etc

  23. Chikadzakuwani says:


  24. hohoba says:

    Ife kwathu sakusiya, ku zingwangwa sec, bwelani nose

  25. Chikadzakuwani says:

    Malawi walero ameneyo

  26. BATUMEYO says:

    Kumpoto madzi Chimanga mpunga mbatata chinangwa mbweeee !!! kusowa chochita nawo kumangofera Bts !! NYIKA REPUBLIC !!! LAND OF MILK AND HONEY !!!

    1. airline says:

      Its becaise you people have all flocked to south and central even ma gogo kudzacheza kwa mwana 2 years! Ndiye mumati ma facilities asakhale overwhelmed?

      1. phanke says:

        Zoonadi amenewa ndi a ‘mbwenumbwenu’, a ‘nyumba yachepa’ ndi a ‘timwe nawo tea’. Kuzolowera kubwera ku blantyre kuthawa kwanu basi nde madzi ali mbwee chifukwa akusowa wogwilitsa ntchito. Kapitani ife madzi atikwanile.

  27. Mzungu abwerenso basi says:

    Hire a white CEO, and within months this problem will forever be solved. All our black CEOs do while in offices are a) discussing commissions on unwanted and inflated purchases b) phoning and romancing other men’s wives or female workers c) misusing institutional assets such as cars to transport wife or kids to market/ school or ferry cement bags to their private plots d) find faults with hard working and result oriented junior workers e) looking for the latest car to purchase for their office use f) being pompous before their colleagues at work and friends at bottle stores and g) finding ways to siphon money for current political leaders for appeasement. They never think once how to make their institution performe better tomorrow than it is today. There in lies the source of our problems in Nyasaland.

    1. Onasiwelo says:

      Yes you have nailed the nail on its head, kapena nditi walasa nyani machenda iwe mzanga its true these CEO are useless they put their interest first than those of the organazation first they do fail us full time I hate them.

    2. jimbo says:

      No.5 you are absolutely right. If azungu were running the country, not just the water board, things would improve dramatically. The former British colonialists are often the but of harsh criticism, but look what they did for the country. What has happened since independence? Has the country progressed? Not at all, in fact it has gone backwards. The economy of South Africa is run by azungu and look how progressive that country is. Unfortunately is has a government that is corrupt and doesn’t spread the wealth around. Although many Malawians won’t admit it, the country would be better off run by azungu. The poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world are in Africa. The facts speak for themselves. There is surely corruption in European countries, but not on the scale at which it is found in Africa. Until the people of Malawi rise up against their corrupt leaders there will be no progress. I weep for Malawi!

    3. getrude says:



  28. kassim Daudi says:

    Bwelekani ma water bouser ku Army, ku city, mota ndikonse komwe mungathe to help our friends in Bt, ask our friends in Namibia, Walvis bay, big pipe from sea, ipeleka madzi mtauni, why can’t we do the same from lake Malawi? Nzosambveka kuti anthu azibvutika pamene lake Malawi tilinayo,pezani njira plz kuti abale ndi alongo athandizdwe.

  29. Patriot says:

    Eti ku Queens akuauza ma guardians kuti akatunge madzi awo mmakwawonkubweretsa ku chipatala. Nanga uyo amene kwawo ndi ku Nsanje, akatunga kuti?

  30. nkhedu says:

    azibambo tiyeni ndowa pamutu tisake madzi.kkkk

  31. ujeni says:

    Inefficency coupled with politicisation of parastatals, dont be suprised.Start by triming the BWB board members numbers then go and fix all the pipes.

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