Southern Region Water Board has disconnected water at Neno District Hospital due to over K35 million unpaid bill.
Public Relations Officer for SRWB Rita Makwangala said the disconnection is a routine exercise that the SRWB undertakes to collect resources for its daily operation as well as for the board to meet its statutory obligations.
However, Spokesperson for the Hospital Ganizani Mkwate told this reporter that though SRWB has disconnected the water at the hospital it will not affect the operation of the hospital because Partners In Health (PIH) installed another water systemfrom the underground that the hospital has been using before SRWB came with their water services in Neno in 2016.
But there was panic at the Hospital on Tuesday after the Health Advisory Committee (HAC) for the hospital asked the authority to temporarily suspend provision of other services at the hospital after the hospital went almost a week without running water.
Chairperson for Neno district hospital advisory Committee Leonard Mphiza said his committee received a complaint from hospital clients and other hospital personnel who complained that they are not protected from contracting diseases due to unavailability of the water at the hospital.
According to Mphiza the departments that have been hit hard with the crisis are maternity and the theatre hence there request to ask the hospital authority to temporarily close the two department.
When contacted again Mkwate admitted that there was water crisis at hospital for some days because there was a technical fault with the hospitals’ water tank but they have electrified the fault and water is now available at the hospital.
“The maintenance is just for temporary, let me assure the public that the hospital has procured the new water tank and will arrive soon in the district. Once that tank installed there will be no more water crisis,” said Mkwate.
On the outstanding bills that the hospital owes SRWB, Mkwate said they will be paying the bill in portion because they cannot manage to pay the whole bill at once.
Guardians were seen drawing water from nearby boreholes while all the water toilets were closed.