Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) says for the next eight months, it will cut production by 50 percent due to water shortage at its reservoir, Kamuzu Dam.
The measure, which is expected to be effected this week, threatens to hurt the manufacturing industry and destabilise thousands of homes which rely solely on water supplied by LWB.
Speaking at a news conference in Lilongwe, LWB chief executive officer Alfonso Chikuni said the board’s sole reservoir, Kamuzu Dam, only has 18 million cubic metres of water.
He said under normal circumstances, the board produces four million cubic metres per month meaning that what remains at its reservoir can only run for four to five months.
He, therefore, said by cutting production by half, LWB will be able to supply water to its customers until the next rainy season.
“What will happen is that homes will be going three days a week without water supply. This, we understand, will be inconveniencing, but it is the best way to ensure we continue supplying them with the water,” Chikuni said.
Chikuni attributed the situation to poor rainfall in the just ended rainy season.
“The rivers where we tap water from are running dry and we will start using water from the reservoir this month. This is very unusual,” he said.
The CEO further said the board is making efforts to lessen the impact of disruptions in water supply.
“We have drilled a borehole in Lumbadzi which will be pumping water for those around that area,” he said, adding; “We are asking residents not to misuse water.”
A resident of Area 49, Levison Mataya, described the pending water rationing as a recipe for disease outbreaks.
“The situation will force residents to be using water from unprotected sources, which can lead to an outbreak of waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea,” he said.