Airport Developments Limited (ADL) has warned that a decision by Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) to meter fire hydrants around Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) could have disastrous effects in case of a major fire at the airport.
LWB introduced meters on fire hydrants after suspecting foul play by ADL due to the amount of non-revenue water registered around Lumbadzi area where the airport is located despite having fewer leakages or burst pipe cases.
The board’s public relations officer, Bright Sonani, confirmed LWB’s position in an interview, saying: “Indeed, the fire hydrants at KIA are metered and they were metered some time last year. The wastage was actually not proportional to such a small area.”
He said the metering seeks to help the board compile information for water usage within the area and not billing purposes.
ADL spokesperson Amos Mwenje said out of six hydrants at the airport, five have been metered, leaving only one which is on the airfield, a situation he said would make it difficult for ADL to effectively respond to fire emergencies for fear of the water bill which may emanate from the activity.
He said hydrants located on the airport terminal building’s car park accumulated an K8 million bill last year. He said the bill has since been settled.
He also dismissed suggestions that ADL may be abusing water from the hydrants to water its flower gardens and other ADL construction projects. n