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More investment needed in groundwater utilisation

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LINE MINISTER— Mia

As the world commemorates World Water Day, Water For People— an organisation which advocates access to, and provides, potable water to people— has asked for increased investments in the extraction of groundwater so that a higher percentage of the Malawi population can be covered with clean water.

In Malawi, more than four million people do not have access to clean and safe water, which renders the population exposed to waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Speaking in an interview, Water For People Sustainability Manager Joseph Magoya said the country had done reasonably well in the utilisation of groundwater but more should be done to ease access to the commodity.

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He added that, apart from investment in extracting water, there was a need to deepen understanding of technologies used for getting and utilising groundwater.

“The challenge is mostly financing because we do not have enough funds to cater for the population but we also need to explore options that can complement boreholes in extracting ground water,” he said.

Malawi mostly uses boreholes to extract and distribute groundwater, most of which fails to be maintained to serve generations.

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Magoya added that the country needed to look back and strategize on non-functional boreholes and the use of other sources.

In a bid to improve the availability of clean and safe water, the government has created a standalone ministry of water and sanitation so that there is focus on the development of water in the country, a development which has excited stakeholders.

The line minister is Abida Mia, who has vowed to make water available and accessible to all.

Speaking to reporters immediately after the formation of the water ministry, Water, Environment and Sanitation Network Board Chairperson Yankho Mataya said the formulation of the ministry was a big step towards realisation of sustainable development goals.

Access to clean and safe water is crucial for the the wellbeing of the citizens since it helps in the prevention of diseases, among other things.

World Water Day is commemorated on March 2022 every year and this year’s theme is ‘Groundwater: Making The Invisible Visible’.

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