Lilongwe Water Board spending K155 million treating water

Lilongwe water board (LWB) says it is spending about K155 million per month to treat water at its Area 3 plant due to heavy siltation in Lilongwe River.

Members of Parliament inspecting the water plant

LWB chief executive officer Alfonso Chikuni said in an interview  the board is spending the money to ensure that is treated to the expected standards.

“We are engaging stakeholders including parliamentarians so that they appreciate the challenges we are facing. We also want to engage those constructing along the river banks to stop the malpractice,” he said.

On Tuesday, LWB officials took some legislators to visit Likuni and Chinsapo to appreciate the magnitude of the encroachment.

In an interview ,legal affairs committee of parliament  chairperson Maxwell  Thyolera  and his Agriculture committee counterpart Joseph Chidanti  Malunga warned  that Lilongwe River may dry in the next  five years if its catchment area is not properly  looked after .

“What we have seen here is sad .There is poor sanitation in the catchment areas where Lilongwe Water Board gets its water. What we have learnt is that there is need to leave 200 meters of the catchment area intact but houses are being belt 10 yards away from the river,” Thyolera said.

Malunga said increased siltation affects water quality and eventually LWB would not be able to adequately treat water.

“We have seen people throwing diapers everywhere and septic tanks being constructed just close to the river so that they empty faecal matter in the river. This is putting the lives of the residents at risk, he said.

Malunga indicated that his committee will soon call officials from the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Lilongwe District Council and other stakeholders to get to the bottom of the issue.

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GWM
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GWM

On the issue of putting structures just close to the river or in buffer zones is almost everywhere now. The solution to this is operationalizing the National Water Resources Authority. Period. The act is there allowing for such a body to be instituted and enforce water resources related laws. We hear the president and his minister doesn’t want this. One day we will wake up all rivers dry anthu atamanga no zinyumba or all rivers and streams being recepient of very toxic industrial wastes. Mwanavekha know that water is life. Politics aside.

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