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Kanjedza residents fault Escom, Blantyre Water Board on services

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People residing at Kanjedza Forest Residential Area in Blantyre have faulted Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Blantyre Water Board (BWB) for delay to timely offer them utility services.

The Ministry of Lands and Housing sold the settlement area to the residents in 2008.

The residents were told that the money they paid for the plots included development fees for water and electricity connection but surprisingly the services are not available.

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Jessie Namaluweso, who has stayed in her newly-built house for a year without water and electricity, pays people K500 daily to draw water from nearby locations.

She said although she drilled a well near her house, her health is at risk because the water is not safe for human consumption.

She added that she has been contacting BWB and Escom officials on the issue but both institutions are yet to help.

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“I have tried personally to go to [Blantyre] Water Board and Escom to pay for the services but they sent me back saying they will install and they do not come. People have finished their homes here but are failing to settle down because there is neither water nor electricity. We were promised that we would have these utility survives before finishing our houses,” Namaluweso said.

Another resident who opted for anonymity complained that he feels shortchanged since they already paid for the services when they were purchasing land yet they still do not have water and electricity.

“How do they expect people to exist this way? Had it been that we did not pay for the services it could have been another thing. We paid for the services but all we are getting are unconvincing excuses,” he said.

Spokesperson in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Charles Vintulla, admitted that the ministry paid BWB K139 million to provide water in the area in 2013.

He adds that Escom was also paid some money to install electricity in the area.

“We followed procedure by paying both Escom and BWB. It is now up to them to supply these services. The other thing you have to know is that these projects take long to be completed so this is not the work that can be done overnight,” said Vintulla.

BWB Public Relations Officer, Priscilla Mateyu, said there were some technical issues that delayed the process but they have been resolved.

“The board is in the process of finalising procurement of materials to start supplying water to the area. We had some challenges in the procurement of materials but we can assure them that we will supply water as soon as possible,” Mateyu said.

Efforts to speak to Kitty Chingota, Escom publicist, proved futile as she did not respond to our questionnaire

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