33% of Malawians have no access to potable water

Thirty-three (33) percent of Malawian households do not have access to improved, safe and potable water and sanitation, recent studies have revealed.

Of these, the majority of them live in rural areas.

The Director of Water Services in the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources, Engineer John Kumwenda, made the sentiments during the Water and Environmental Sanitation Network (Wes-Net) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday in Lilongwe.

Kumwenda said the country has to fill the deficit by 2030.

Wes-Net Chairperson, Kate Harawa

Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) has been the least funded sector over the past decade.

Just recently, in the 2021 to 2022 national budget, the government increased the budget allocation from K30billion to K90 billion to the sector.

“This increase will make a great difference and we anticipate that the gap will to some extent be bridged,” he said

He added that it will take a great deal of collaboration to bridge the gap so that by 2030 everyone has access to clean, safe, portable water and increased sanitation services to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.

Government believes that with the right approach can collaboratively go an extra mile, he said.

As government, he said, various programs are underway earmarked to enhance WASH in the country.

Wes-Net Chairperson, Kate Harawa, agreed that there is a need for collaboration among stakeholders as well as the government to make sure issues of WASH are achieved by 2030.

“We need to collaborate and work together with more financial resources in order to bridge the gap which we have as a nation,” she said.

She expressed worry over those organizations who work independently in WASH programs which has resulted in duplication of programs instead of progressing.

Unless there is proper coordination then more people will access WASH thereby achieving the target in 2030.

Wes-net is one of the key and strategic stakeholders in the WASH sector supporting the government’s effort to ensure that all have access to improved and safe water and sanitation services in line with SDG 6.

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