Malawi President Peter Mutharika yesterday called for a shift from talk to action in the water sector to eliminate lingering gaps that deny some Malawians access to safe water as well as improved sanitation and hygiene.
Mutharika said this in Mzuzu where he presided over the World Water Day commemorations held under the theme ‘Water for Sustainable Development: From Vision to Action’. The commemoration was preceded by three conferences on water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash).
The President spoke against rhetoric, saying he is deeply concerned that many Malawians have no access to potable water despite that a third of the country is covered with water. He called for urgent measures to end drying up and pollution of water sources.
Said Mutharika: “Let us desist from being a nation with beautiful plans, but no implementation. It is time we started seeing the fruits of our beautiful plans. Let us be a shining example in the region as far as conservation of our natural resources is concerned.”
He asked Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza and relevant players to hit the ground in preserving water sources, saying: “Our progress on the international scene will be measured by the achievement of internationally set goals which we subscribe to.”
Having failed to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to scale up access to safe water by this year, Mutharika challenged State and non-State actors to embrace the post-2015 agenda to come up with realistic targets which will ensure that each person has access to water.
In his speech, Chiyembekeza said the water sector is facing numerous challenges, including enviromental degradation and disasters, but initiatives are underway to guarantee and increase provision of potable water.
Afterwards, the President travelled to Mzimba where he held a groundbreaking ceremony at a site earmarked for the flagship M’mbelwa University and cheered up people who lost their businesses when fire gutted the district’s central market.