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Lack of access to clean water worries government

Malawi government has said access to clean water in most rural areas of the country remains a key challenge that is accelerating the spread of water and sanitation-related diseases.

Regional Irrigation and Water Development Officer for the South, Phideria Moyo, said water and sanitation are cross-cutting issues that government needs to address through the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).

She said to ensure access to clean water in the country, Malawi must build not only the required infrastructure, but also appropriate institutional systems that can effectively oversee, guide and manage construction and maintenance.

Moyo was speaking on Friday in Chikwawa during the handover of two motor bicycles, 14 bicycles and 10 sets of borehole spare parts to Chikwawa District Council and area mechanics from Water for People.

“We have learnt that Chikwawa District Council, with support from Water for People, has trained 12 area mechanics that will be operating in four traditional authorities across Chikwawa in major boreholes maintenance.

“This is in line with the ministry’s policy direction where it is encouraging communities to have the necessary skills in order for them to play their role effectively,” she said.

Moyo also said it was pleasing to note that last year the organisation drilled 90 boreholes in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chapananga and that water availability in the district changed from the previous 50 percent to 70 percent.

Water for People Public Health Specialist Steve Kumwenda said to reach the required number of boreholes in the district, Water for People needs other organisations to partner it.

He said since 2013, Water for People has drilled over 170 boreholes in T/A Chapananga while in 2015 the organisation is planning to drill 80 boreholes.

Kumwenda said: “As the district’s population continues to grow, there is need to drill more boreholes that can provide safe water to the communities and we will be doing that until 2018.”

According to Kumwenda, the district needs 650 new boreholes while 200 more boreholes need to be rehabilitated.

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