Concerns over Blantyre Water Board pipe bursts

Blantyre City South Residents have expressed concern over the delay by Blantyre Water Board (BWB) to attend to and maintain water pipe bursts that take place in their area.

Mateyu: Piped water system is diverse and complicated
Mateyu: Piped water system is diverse and complicated

The concern was raised at an interface meeting between the Blantyre City South Residents and BWB organized by Genesses Manja Othandiza (GEMO), a local Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) geared to empower communities monitor service delivery in their areas.

According to director of GEMO Fatima Mauluka, the delays make some parts in the constituency to stay without water for days and lead residents to source water from boreholes.

“In the past, the response from BWB was Swift but now it is slow. Imagine there was a pipe burst at Kachere near Naotena School; I reported the matter as a concerned citizen and they gave me a positive response but it took them over a week to come and attend to the problem. This is a waste of water which is currently on high demand,” she said.

Furthermore, Mauluka pointed out that the burst pipes being referred to are not those that take place as a result of vandalism but due to the wearing out of BWB pipes hence their need to attend to the faults urgently.

Also commenting on the same, Senior Chief Kajombo, who was the guest of honor at the meeting, appealed to BWB to respond quickly to such incidents to reduce the loss of non-revenue water.

“Just some weeks ago near my house, a pipe burst at the Kiosk and I reported the matter but the problem was not attended to in time. Imagine, people used the water coming out from the burst pipe to mold bricks for close to a week and all this they did for free,” he said.

GEMO called on BWB to revive its toll free number for fault reporting instead of relying on a WhatsApp Group it created for people to report faults.

Responding to the concerns, BWB Public Relations Officer (PRO) Priscilla Mateyu said the board gives all pipe bursts their due attention and responds to them immediately they are reported.

However she pointed out that their piped water system is diverse and complicated which results to some faults not being attended to in time.

“We have transmission pipes known as mains and distribution pipes which are smaller pipes that go into people’s premises so we attend to all damages that occur on all these pipes although we treat the transmission pipes as priorities,” said Mateyu adding that the board strives to ensure that all pipe bursts are rectified in time to reduce cases of non-revenue water loss which is one of the boards major problems at the moment.

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