Expert pushes for review of water polices in Malawi  

An expert on water and sanitation in Malawi, George Chaima is attributing the water problem facing the country to the government’s failure on issues of water management.

Chaima: Government policies on water need to be reviewed

Chaima: Government policies on water need to be reviewed

Chaima a civil society organizations representative for Africa on Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) – a global partnership which works to a common vision id access to safe water and adequate sanitation, says it is disturbing to see that Malawi which has plenty of water sources like Lake Malawi Shire River, Lake Chiuta and Chirwa, is facing water problem.

“We have massive waters in Lake Malawi, there, water doesn’t dry and yet we are not utilizing that water. This means that somewhere Malawi is failing to plan how it can properly utilize it resources,” says Chaima.

Chaima says this can range from lack of political will, or lack of proper planning for the resources to meet the needs of the people.

He says with the availability of lots of water resources government should have ensured that all Malawians have accesses to safe water.

“All Malawians would have access to tap water. I they can’t provide tap water they must provide at least safe boreholes where women can go and find water in its plenty. Therefore there is need for government to work jointly with all partners to find lasting solution to the challenges it is facing in water sector.”

To achieve this, Chaima says, the government systems must clear all the roadblocks that they create for the information to reach the right people.

“And also policies must be reviewed. Malawi must set up policies that are conducive to the people when it comes to water supply and sanitation where everybody must be included. We are talking about inclusive policies. The poor, the vulnerable the, and the physically challenged people must have equitable access to water.”

He also says water should be readily available in schools whereby children should wash their hands after going to the toilets.

“We don’t want women to be raped in the bush just because they went to search for water at night.”

Taps in Malawi have for the past three months, often run dry, forcing residents to draw water from unprotected sources like rivers and wells as a result the risk of contracting water-borne diseases is rising.

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Chaima is right. How much surface water and ground water do we waste? Plenty! How much lake water do we use? and for what? Only fishing chambo and bonya that you pay for as if it’s imported species from the moon? And sailing Mtendere and Illala twice to three times a year before they breakdown? The Greenbelt initiative was a great idea, but where is it in practice? Chaima is talking about policies, which is very true. But I just wonder if any proposed policy would be discussed in the media rather than in specific forum or through appropriate government… Read more »
Ambuje Kukaya

Mr. Chaima, thank you for the words. However, let me inform you that the major source of water resources that we misuse or mismanage is the rainwater not the lake. If the country were to invest in multi-purpose dams seriously we would generally do away with the challenges you have observed.

Next time be specific on the policies to review otherwise you sound a novice in your own field.


number 6 seems to be thinking well. Let us hope more will think like and act according in their respective homes and institutions


We should also be thinking of simple technologies of harvesting water within our homesteads to support recharging the water tables. Generally, our houses are designed to throw water away through cemented drains, yet we need water everyday. Therefore, having boreholes is an immediate option with the understanding of water harvesting concepts and what trees to grow because some trees like eucalyptus draws large a mount of water- probably 5 litres a day!


Harvesting water is a stupid idea put forward by short sited people lazy enough to avoid responsibility. With smoke producing industries and dusty roads you end up harvesting dirty water.


That cn be good Mr Chaima ,I cn tell u how cn pipo leave health drinking water frm man made. Check from Jenda Edingeni Manyamula Engalaweni, Kamteteka, Bulala Zubayumo no tap water no tar road no electricity but we vote for nothing


In the last paragraph, the expert has rightly said that taps in Malawi have for the past three months run dry. I wonder why he said such words. Here in Mzimba, we have never had water problems and the taps have never ran dry. Does it mean that we are not part of Malawi because taps in Malawi have often ran dry? If you think southern region only is Malawi, then go to hell with your incompetent leaders. I hate you southerners with perfect hatred.

Zidura Ntengo Undigwere
Zidura Ntengo Undigwere

@#4 (Mtumbuka): wrong and unproductive line of thought, my man.
The problem of water supply, mailnly, is a national one in our country. And many solutions advanced are likely to help every part of the country, whether the specific area is currently experiencing water problems or not.

Think Tank

An expert who has given general views that every right thinking person can convey! Be particular Mr. expert!! which policies need to be reviewed and what steps should govt take. Dont just speculate!!!


With So many highly qualified water engineers at our water Depts across the country : One wonders what job they are doing just collecting free tax payers money up to their retirement ages !!!!



Big up mr Chaima, I agree with you ena amangothamangira ma demo, osabwera ndi mfundo zothandizira vuto lomwe lilipo.

Dziko lino likanakhala ndi anthu ngati inu
Ma bungwe osiyanasiyana ndikukhulupilira. Pano malawi ali penapake.

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