Water crisis halts operations in Karonga, boy drowns

An 11-year-old boy drowned while searching for water in Lake Malawi in Karonga district, police confirmed to Nyasa Times.

The border town has been experiencing serious water shortage for the past two weeks that have also slowed operations in most vital institutions including the Karonga District Hospital.

The situation has forced residents to resort to helping themselves with unprotected water including from the lake.

Karonga Police press officer Enock Livason identified the deceased boy as Stan Kakangula from Malemia 1 village in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu.

Boy drowns in Lake Malawi

He said the boy met his fate on Monday when he went to wash his clothes at the lake and take a bath.

“He had finished washing and he wanted to take a bath when he drowned,” said the police spokesperson.

Water problem in the district, which the Northern Region Water Board could not immediately attributed to, has affected several other sectors as well where essential services have been affected.

One other area that has been heavily affected is the Karonga District Hospital which has since started keeping water in jerry canes like is the case with fuel.

Karonga District Health Officer Dr Michael Kayange said the problem has reached a crisis point because many essential services such as surgical treatments have being affected.

Principal of Karonga Teachers Training College also complained that the water problem was making things difficult for them particularly in the kitchen and toilets.

The problem has also affected places like the prison where sanitation is already compromised.

During the same period, Karonga’s neighbouring district of Chitipa also had problems with power that forced the Chitipa District Hospital to temporarily suspend giving some services such as maternity and operations.

Power was only brought back on Monday afternoon after some civil society leaders and other people took to ESCOM offices demanding immediate restoration of power in the district.

Meanwhile, reports say a pregnant woman who was referred to Karonga District Hospital for delivery on Saturday gave birth to a still baby due to long distance that she travelled from Chitipa to Karonga.

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