Communities living around Chagaduka Hot Springs in Nkhotakota have formed a committee to rebuild bath houses at the tourism attraction site.
The committee’s chairperson, Nedson Malepa, 65, who is also Village Head (VH) Vinyanda, said the British constructed the bath houses fitted with showers and taps to enable people draw water.
He said the place had a windmill that was pumping water to villages located within an eight-kilometre radius.
GVH Vinyanda said everyone who used the structures benefited for free.
“Everything changed when Malawi became independent since the structures lacked ownership. This, therefore, led to vandalism because people were against paying for the water,” he said.
Vinyanda explained that in early 2000, the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) built two rooms at the site but they were vandalised following rumours that local leaders wanted to sell the place to Kenyans.
He said the people have now agreed to renovate the structures and make mawira, as is locally known, a tourist attraction again. They have since engaged in a number of fundraising initiatives including car washing.
“We are planning to buy cement, pipes, paint and iron sheets among the many materials needed for reconstruction,” he said.
According to oral history, the hot spring was discovered in 1845 by a person from Vinyanda Village who had chicken pox and he got healed after bathing in the water. n