Government has urged players in the water sector to follow recently approved guidelines on groundwater monitoring system if the country is to have quality borehole water in rural areas.
Chief hydrological research officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development McPherson Nkhata said this during a refresher course for the implementation of the guidelines called ‘Technical Manual-Water Wells and Groundwater Monitoring System’.
Held in Mchinji, the course attracted district water officers, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and borehole drillers from across the country.
The manual, which was formulated with financial support from Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica), outlines procedures to be followed when drilling boreholes.
“This manual, which contains specifications on how to drill a borehole, is the best way to ensure that the water people consume is of high quality. This is why we want all stakeholders to follow it,” he said.
Nkhata noted that people in some areas have been complaining of salty water from boreholes, a situation he said the manual can correct.
“There are some parts that have alkaline water. In such cases, the manual urges that the drillers do the testing and drill in points where the water is not salty. So, those are some of the benefits Malawians will get from this manual,” he said.
Jica water resource adviser Takeshi Higo said he was impressed with the enthusiasm the players in the water sector have showed towards implementation of the manual.
“We launched the manual last year and already our snap analysis shows that most drillers and other stakeholders have started implementing it. We hope that more stakeholders will adopt the manual as a response to the awareness we are carrying out currently,” he said.
As part of the training, the participants were taken to a borehole drilling site where demonstrations were conducted on how the manual-modelled boreholes can be constructed.