Water for People, in collaboration with Rumphi District Council, will in May this year (2014), start implementing a K142 million Water Project in areas of traditional authorities (TA) Mwamlowe and Mwalweni to address a long standing problem of water shortage in the area.
The water project is courtesy of United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) and Department for International Development (DfID).
Scheduled to take 19 months with a target of about 2 862 households, the project is hoped to avert water shortage due to non-functioning of several boreholes and water taps in the area.
Water for People grants manager, Muthi Nhlema, told journalists on the sidelines of Rumphi District Executive Committee meeting recently, that the project will involve drilling of 57 boreholes, maintaining non-functional water taps and training communities on borehole and tap maintenance, among others.
“The major reason we have come up with the project is to improve functionality of water points in Rumphi District where 25 per cent of boreholes do not work and 55 percent of the water taps do not work,” he said.
Besides involving grass root communities, Water for People will collaborate with Rumphi District Council in implementing the project to attain a long term goal of increasing communities’ access to clean water all the time.
“We are working with the district council to come up with new ideas to improve the functionality of water points so that they work for longer period,” said Nhlema, adding that the communities themselves will also be fully engaged in the project.
Through the project, households will be equipped with self supply and full cost recovery tariff training programme.
Nhlema said a total of 10 water mechanics will be trained in maintaining and repairing the borehole pumps that have malfunctioned.
The project will also work with local business entities to stock and supply the market with borehole pumps and other spare parts.
A similar project had been implemented in Chikhwawa where, according to Water for People public health specialist, Steve Kumwenda, it was successful.