Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has cited rapid population growth and resettlements in Malawi as the main factors affecting plans to reach out to everyone in the country with safe water.
Currently, 84 percent of the country’s 17 million people have access to safe water but government intends to reach 95 percent of the population by 2025 when the population is projected to hit over 23 million.
Speaking in an interview on Friday, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development director of irrigation services Geoffrey Mamba said population growth and resettlements in areas far from safe water sources are affecting plans to provide safe water to all Malawians.
He said government is embarking on various projects funded by World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) which will see more Malawians accessing safe water.
Mamba bemoaned wanton cutting down of trees, saying when people fell down trees, the water table is affected. He said this in turn results in some of the boreholes and other water sources drying up.
World Vison Malawi acting national director Charles Chimombo said it is sad to note that some people still do not have access to safe water despite that 20.6 percent of the country is covered by water.
He said: “A study done by the World Health Organisation revealed that one out of every seven Malawians lack access to clean and safe water. Over 3 000 children die every year due to diarrhoea as a result of using unsafe water and poor sanitation practices.
“This is why we work in disadvantaged areas to provide potable water and adequate sanitation services to decrease illnesses, improve health, and lessen the burden on women and children by reducing the distance to water collection points.” n