Southern Region Water Board has disconnected water at Zomba Central Hospital due to a staggering K6 million unpaid bill, putting pressure on patients and guardians as public hospitals in Malawi continue to collapse rapidly due to cash flow problems at Capital Hill, the seat of government.
Southern Region Water Board publicist Macdonald Phiri confirmed in a radio interview his organisation disconnected the water at the central hospital on Thursday.
He said talks between the water utility body and the hospital administration were going on inorder to restore the water.
Hospital workers said labour ward and the theatre have been hit hard by the disconnection and they did not rule out suspension of the facilities if the water is not connected.
Reports from the hospital say guardians are now drawing water from nearby water sources in pales whilst others have resorted to unprotected river water.
The water utility was disconnecting the water as health workers in Lilongwe, Dowa and Dedza marched peacefully to demand increased funding for the public health sector.
In Lilongwe, the doctors, nurses and other heallth workers presented a petition to parliament’s chair of Health Committee Juliana Lunguzi who promised to lobby for increased funding.
However, minister of Health Peter Kumpalume, while welcoming the lobbying for more funding for hospitals, said people must understand that revenue collection in Malawi is limited due to a number of factors.
He therefore said if the Malawi Revenue Authority does not collect enough revenue, it would e extremely difficult for the government to increase funding to his ministry.
Ministry of Health Adrian Chikumbe refused to comment on the disconnection of water at Zomba Central Hospital, saying he wanted to consult hospital administrators first.