Consumers Association of Malawi executive director, John Kapito, has blasted water utility body Blantyre Water Board (BWB) for not coming forth to explain to its customers on water shortages rocking Blantyre city.
A snap survey conducted by Nation Online revealed that residents from all parts of the city are either receiving no drop of water or experiencing intermittent water supply.
Residents from Bangwe and Maone Park say they spent over three weeks without water while some from Mbayani, Kanjedza and Chinyonga say they are experiencing a three day water cut starting from last month.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, Kapito said BWB is obliged to inform and explain to its customers any challenge that may lead to inconveniences as it a public utility body.
According to Kapito, rumours have it that the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has disconnected power at the Nkula Walker’s Ferry making BWB unable to pump enough water.
“We are even failing to substantiate these rumours because BWB management is not coming forth with information. I have only managed to talk to the board chairperson James Naphambo who expressed ignorance over the matter but promised to follow it up,” Kapito said.
Kapito called on BWB executive to issue a statement explaining the root cause of the problem and also find a lasting solution to the challenges they are facing “because when they commissioned Nkula waters ferry in December last year they promised an end to water shortage in the city and surrounding areas.”
The completion of the £7.1 million (K4 billion) project, which included power upgrading and replacing of old pumping equipment with new ones raised water production from 78000m3 (78 Million litres) to 96 000 m3 (96 million litres) per day.
The project was jointly funded by The European Union and the European investment bank.
Aside that BWB also received K3.5 billion from the World Bank which it used to upgrade power and replace old pumping equipment with new ones at Chileka pumping station.
This raised hope of an end to water shortages which its 45000 customers had been experiencing for a long period of time.
Efforts to talk to officials from BWB proved futile as spokesperson Priscilla Mateyu was locked up in a meeting in Mulanje and Chief Executive Officer Henry Bakuwa’s phone went unanswered.
Lilongwe and some districts of the central region have not been spared from the water challenge with authorities from both Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) and Central Region Water Board (CRWB) attributing the challenge to inadequate rainfall in the just ended rainy season.
A snap survey in the northern region revels that the Northern Region Water board is able to supply its customers with adequate water as it received adequate rainfall.
Spokesperson for the Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) McDonald Phiri said the board is able to supply adequate water to its 54 000 customers in all the 12 districts of the region that they operate in.
“We have a number of water sources which include dams, surface water, ground water and this works to our advantage,” said Phiri.