Officials from the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) Monday this week shunned a meeting where Mzuzu based Youth Watch Society inaugurated the Kalondolondo programme assessment of delivery of water services.
“I personally delivered the invitation letter to their offices and they assured us that they will attend. I am also surprised why they are not here,” said Youth Watch Programme Officer Edward Gama.
Gama was reacting to queries from various stakeholders who were perplexed with the conspicuous absence of NRWB officials.
But NRWB Public Relations Officer Edward Nyirenda expressed ignorance of the said meeting.
“Otherwise we sincerely apologize that we were not there. It was not intentional. We view the group and the programme as a valued partner and we would still want to meet and engage them on the issues,” Nyirenda said in an email response.
He said NRWB has previously attended and participated in similar programme other organisation are conducting in Karonga and Chitipa.
The Youth Watch Society programme will assess water services in Mzuzu and part of Ekwendeni whereby interfaces meeting between users and the service provider will be organised.
“We wouldn’t to argue…. but water supply in Mzuzu is generally very good. But we know challenges are there in some areas but we are trying our level best to supply the City and Ekwendeni and other areas within our supply area,” the NRWB Publicist said.
Critical in these meetings will be completion of a scorecard with 16 indicators among them water quality, timelines in initial connections to water, quality of reconnections, and reliability of water among others.
“It is not about policing each other or fault finding. It is about engagement because such meeting are non-existent. It is our right to demand better services from service providers,” Gama said.
Mzuzu City Council Mayor William Mkandawire welcomed the programme saying water is an important resource.
Various stakeholders at the meeting agreed during plenary session that they were not satisfied with the delivery of water services in Mzuzu saying NRWB treats customers with scorn and that many of their staff demand bribes.
“But if customers are not getting the best treatment from our staff, our doors are open. If indeed some of our staff are requesting for bribes in whatever form, let us know. We take these issues seriously and will take necessary action. Otherwise, our priority remains the customer,” Nyirenda said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :