Kalondolondo unearths dubious boreholes

Eighty percent of boreholes which were drilled in Chinkhwawa District are shallow and risk running out of water during dry season.

This was revealed during a Kalondolondo Programme by Centre for Children’s Affairs (CEAF ).

The Kalondolondo programme, formerly known as the Community Based Monitoring Project, is an eight year programme being implemented by a consortium of Plan Malawi, Action Aid and the Council for Non Governmental Organizations in Malawi (CONGOMA) with funding from Ukaid and Plan UK.

A borehole at Bereu in Chikhwawa which is one of the sub-standard. Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

CEAF  Executive Director, Moses Busher  said according to their Kalondolondo findings, most of the boreholes were drilled without following proper procedures.

Busher gave an example of Bereu primary school borehole which was drilled only 27 meters deep instead of the recommended 45 meters.

“The borehole is shallow and risk running out of water especially during the dry season because the contractors who were responsible for the borehole did not follow the recommended depth,” said Busher.

Busher emphasized that apart from running out of water, the communities have been complaining of poor quality water at the borehole, since the borehole is shallow.

He said that this was a worrisome development because money was involved yet right procedures were not followed.

“We want to follow up this issue as to why the contractors only drilled this borehole up to 27 meters deep instead of the recommended 45 meters. Not only that because we are aware that before any borehole is drilled, there is supposed to be an official from the water department for inspection but here there are so many unanswered questions,” said Busher.

Kalondolondo programme Manager, Jephter Mwanza assured the community that the matter would be taken further to the authorities for scrutiny.

Mwanza indicated that they are interested to know the name of the contractor and officials who were involved in the drilling of the borehole.

The Kalondolondo programme is being implemented in 14 districts with an objective to provide a platform through which communities and civil society can participate in the national budget process by giving feedback on how communities perceive the delivery of services in heath, education, water and agriculture sectors.

During a phone-in programme on MIJ FM on Kalondolondo project, many callers applauded the project as a success.

One caller from Nsanje, Geoffry Banda went as far as requesting for the Project to be implemented in the district.

“I would like to commend Plan Malawi in partnership with Actionaid, Congoma and DFID for this kind of project because it has helped in transparency and accountability,” said Banda.

Busher: Contractor should be taken to task. Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Kalondolondo project manager Jephter Mwanza
Alufandika borehole, which was drilled without following proper procedures. Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

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