Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) on Saturday launched a K5 million ($6 631) investment to improve access to safe water and the plight of rural communities in Karonga District.
Half the sum bankrolled the installation of an eight-tap water system at Iponga Health Centre where health workers and patients have had no running water since its inception in the 1990s. The rest was used to buy maize for nearly 160 Malawians at Zindi who were displaced when North Rukuru River swelled beyond its banks last month.
NRWB board chairperson Peter Mwanza utilised the visit to Karonga to announce the State-run corporation’s plans to connect rural communities to tap water after years of urban penetration.
“In fact, the water board was compelled to install eight taps at this rural healthcare facility because the district health office [DHO] was struggling to raise the K2.4 million which we quoted as the cost of connecting the health centre. We hope the Ministry of Health will play its part to make sure every room has running water,” he said.
Karonga District health officer Charles Sungani thanked the board for increasing the number of health centres with running water in the district, saying the local government council failed to connect Iponga due to the prevailing underfinancing of public hospitals.
Karonga district commissioner (DC) Rosemary Moyo said construction of a dyke is part of the district’s urban development plan, but they have not yet identified financiers to invest in the project.