Minister of Water and Sanitation Abida Sidik Mia has commended Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) for rolling out free water connection, saying it will benefit many people.
Speaking on Saturday in Mangochi District when launching the initiative and commissioning of the K158 million Mangochi Water for Life Pro-Poor Project, the minister said SRWB is helping thousands of people to access potable water.
Said Mia: “People in the area were drinking unsafe water from unhygienic places. But now they will be drinking potable water.
“The initiative will make a huge difference among the people and will encourage more to get connected.”
SRWB chief executive officer Duncan Chambamba said the utility has budgeted 5 000 free new water connections for the 2022/23 fiscal year.
“We have received close to 1 700 applications and 250 have already been connected.
“Despite the responses, not many people within our supply areas are aware of this initiative and we are intensifying awareness campaigns so that a lot of people benefit.”
In his remarks, SRWB board chairperson Elias Chimulambe assured government and the people that the water utility is geared to implement the free new water connection and other tasks to ensure access to potable water and sanitation.
“Our aim is to provide safe water to the community, improve their hygiene and livelihoods because we know and believe that water is life,” he said.
The areas’ ward councillor Wellingtone Mangulenje described the initiative as a milestone.
Under the pro-poor project, which being funded by a Dutch Utility Company Vitens Evides International, SRWB has constructed and rehabilitated 20 modern water kiosks and expansion of pipeline within Mangochi town. The project is targeting low income households who usually drink water from unprotected sources.