One of the statements that I have heard when I lived elsewhere was that you should not be ‘a water hog’. The term ‘water hog’ comes from two names, water and hog. I don’t need to define what water is, but I can define what a hog is. A hog is a pig. The term ‘water hog’ is often used to describe an individual who uses water selfishly or irresponsibly, especially when there is water scarcity.
There is currently water scarcity in Lilongwe. The water shortages in the capital city largely emanate from four reasons. The four reasons are: There has been drought in most parts of the country, including Lilongwe. Secondly, Lilongwe’s population has been growing, and so has its water needs. Thirdly, Lilongwe has largely relied on the Kamuzu Dam at Dzalanyama which was adequate years ago, but not anymore. Fourthly, Lilongwe has not tapped water from Salima’s Lake Malawi. Failure to act has resulted in the shortage of water which the city is now experiencing.
Related to the shortage of water in Lilongwe was the revelation that two State institutions—the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the Malawi Defence Force (MDF), are consuming at least 10 percent of the water in Lilongwe. That we even have to talk about MPS and MDF without fearing that Tata’s will be coming to teach us sense speaks on the progress that this country has gone through. ‘Nothing’ will happen to the person or persons who have mentioned the MDF as being water hog and nothing will happen to us who are continuing to talk about this.
The reason that the military and the police are using so much water is that they have their water paid for by the government. We pay the water bills for all our men and women in uniform. That, perhaps, is the reason our soldiers and police are not paying attention to their water meters. I would not suggest that we change this policy. Let us continue to pay for the water, but at the same time, we ask Inspector General Lexten Kachama and the MDF Commander to come up with a strategy to reduce the consumption for their own good.
If the water wastage continues the Commander-in-Chief may not have the option but to direct that the Police and the Army receive a ‘consolidated’ package, meaning that we will have the water allowance included in the salary. It will be the men and women in uniform who will eventually lose out.
Now, coming back to what I wrote sometime back. I had suggested that the State donates to itself the Cashgate buses. What did I mean? Well, the government owns four universities. The State can now allocate the buses to the universities. Someone was asking me whether I think the President or the Attorney General will listen. I told him that this was not my problem. Our leaders must be let to make decisions. I suggested and they need to decide whether they listen to me or not. They need to do things that are worthwhile to them. n