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Parliament to revisit Water Works Act

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Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources has said there is need to revisit the Water Works Act and ensure that the provisions under sewage management are implemented.

The committee’s Chairperson, Welani Chilenga, Tuesday said the idea is to prevent recurrence of the water contamination that happened in Area 18.

This follows reports that the Water Act gives water boards mandate to develop and operate sanitation facilities, but the boards are yet to start developing the sanitation facilities.

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“It’s water boards that are supposed to do that according to the law but it’s local government doing it,” he said

In a report that Lilongwe Water Board released after the Area 18 water incident, the board’s Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Chikuni, highlighted that the contamination happened following a reportedly long-time broken sewer main that discharged into the board’s water pipeline that got burst.

The report also recommended to government to re-engineer the development and management of sanitation services including the sewer systems in the city of Lilongwe in view of the Act.

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The board raised fears that if the sewer water continues to flow, it will abort supply of water in the area.

Chilenga also said the legislators have summoned all involved authorities on August 10, 2017 on the matter.

“We are meeting all water boards, Malawi Housing Corporation, all city assemblies. Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Health, among others,” he said.

Earlier, Lilongwe City Council Acting Chief Executive Officer, Charles Makanga, said government was waiting to rehabilitate all sewer lines before handing them over to water boards.

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