President Peter Mutharika yesterday officially commissioned the Chitipa Water Supply project with a call for the public to jealously guard against vandalism of pipes and ensure that they pay their bills on time.
While stressing the importance of the facility to the people of Chitipa, the President expressed concern that some people from surrounding villages at Kalenge are cutting pipes to steal water for moulding bricks.
He stressed that good quality water which is fit for human consumption is expensive to produce, hence the need to take care of the water facility at Kalenge.
“I ask you to take responsibility of looking after the facilities that have been built. Avoid vandalism. I know people are cutting pipes to draw water illegally to mould bricks, especially in the area of Traditional Authority Mwabulambya. This is affecting the water pressure, please do not vandalise the pipes.
“You must also pay your bills on time to help the Northern Region Water Board [NRWB] to maintain the facilities so that they continue to supply good water. I know some of you are complaining that the tariffs are still high, but I am sure NRWB will look into the issue,” he said.
He also called for the protection of Kalenge forest which is a catchment area for the water facility. He urged the people to stop cultivating and cutting trees in the forest.
“If this forest is not protected, we will have problems with water supply. Let us take care of the water facility by protecting the catchment area. I would also like to urge Badea to consider funding other projects,” he said.
The $13 million Chitipa Water Supply project has been partly financed by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea) with $10million and the government of Malawi ($3million).
Speaking on behalf of Badea, engineer Hany Kamal Fahmy also urged people of Chitipa to take care of the facility and ensure sustainability. He also thanked them for allowing that they work in their area without hustles. n