lan Malawi has lined up programmes to improve access to potable water and sanitation in Mzuzu City through implementation of a K1.3 billion ($2,140,310) Water Demand Management Project.
The project, to run up to 2019, is being implemented in partnership with Northern Region Water Board (NRWB), Mzuzu City Council (MCC) and Vitens Evides International.
The overall goal of the project is to reduce poverty, increase self-reliance and promote economic growth in Mzuzu City through various interventions, according to the programme outline.
Speaking during a water conservation campaign meeting at Zolozolo in the City on Friday, Plan Malawi Water Demand Project manager Yankho Mataya said apart from improving access to water among residents, they also seek to reduce illegal tapping of water which is affecting the board’s revenue collection.
She said through the project, a number of communal water points will be rehabilitated and others will be constructed so that people have access to water.
Mataya said water users associations (WUAs) have since been established to work with Plan Malawi, NRWB and residents in managing communal water points.
NRWB spokesperson Edward Nyirenda said there is need for communities to manage water points and avoid vandalising the board’s property or making illegal connection to access water.
He said destruction of Kaning’ina Forest is also heavily affecting operations of the board as it leads to soil erosion and siltation of Lunyangwa Dam, the city’s sole water source.
Said Nyirenda: “We are already facing challenges to supply the city due to lowering water levels in the dam and it also happens that some people deliberately break pipes to access water or they make illegal connections. This water that we lose out would have been supplied to people who would have paid for it.” n