Politics is hampering efforts to make safe water available to all, Water for People executive director Kate Harawa said on Tuesday in Blantyre.
During a Climate Justice Fund Synergy Meeting bringing together four major water projects funded by the Scottish Government, Harawa said as the May 20 election season hots-up, some aspirants use water as a tool to get to power.
“When a borehole is broken during this period, communities forsake their duty of repairing. They look up to aspirants who only repair to gain mileage. Once they win and the boreholes are broken again, the politicians vanish,” said Harawa.
Harawa said during the meeting, the parties were reviewing how they have fared in water resource management to curb climate change.
She observed that water is a right which Malawians must fight to attain. “That [Attaining a right] has been difficult as neither the Constitution nor the Water Act spells out that right,” said Harawa.
University of Strathclyde’s professsor Robert Kalin said Malawi and Scotland have a lot in common and that there is a lot the two countries can learn from each other on climate change adaptation.
“We too have the flood and ecosystems management problems you are facing here. We are grappling to see how we can better manage our ground-water resources,” said Kalin, who is leading a team of experts in an integrated water resource management team working in the flood-prone Chikhwawa district.
According to him, the coming in of water users association has increased access to clean and safe water to marginalised groups in Malawi.