People living around Mzedi Dumping Site in the area of Traditional Authority Machinjiri in Blantyre risk being infected with water-borne diseases due to exposure to contaminated water.
Tests conducted in the area have revealed high presence of lead, copper, calcium and nitrates that are against the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) specifications for drinking water. This is also against the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum concentration levels.
Two organisations, the Society of Friends of Environment and Technology (Sofet) and the Environmental Concerned Youth Association (Ecoya), with funding from Tilitonse, conducted the test as one way of producing evidence to back their calls to have Mzedi Dumping Site relocated.
The Polytechnic, through the Department of Physics and Biochemical Sciences, was entrusted with the exercise and the results were released on Tuesday in Blantyre.
According to Sofet member, Halima Bakali, who is also studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences at The Polytechnic, the results showed that physical, chemical and biological concentration in the water was high compared to MBS standards and specifications for drinking water.
“This is hazardous to human beings. For instance, when a person takes water which is highly contaminated by calcium, it leads to anaemia, while nitrates is bad for pregnant women as this causes blue babies syndrome which is a disease found in infants,” she said.
Bakali has since advised the community to consider boiling the water before use .
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