A four-year study by Leadership for Environment and Development (Lead), University of Malawi and the University of Southampton has revealed that politics hinders community members’ access to potable water.
It cites boreholes as one of the necessities that suffer from the development.
The four-year research project, titled ‘Building Research Capacity for Sustainable Water and Food Security in Dry lands of sub-Saharan Africa’, was implemented in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya.
It shows that community members are at the mercy of politicians when it comes to borehole drilling.
“Data collected from Zomba, Machinga, Balaka, Salima, Dowa, Phalombe and Lilongwe show that boreholes are the most reliable source of water but they are highly politicised and projects are at the mercy of a politician, who chooses who should have a borehole,” the findings read.
The research shows that a significant number of community members do not have access to boreholes because of politics.
It further indicates that low access to irrigation, infrastructure and technology is affecting food production in most parts of the country.
Agriculture Deputy Minister Madalitso Kambauwa described the research findings as timely.
“Using the research findings, policy makers will be guided by evidence informed by research when reviewing and implementing programmes,” Kambauwa said.
Lead Director Sosten Chiotha said the research project gave community members an opportunity to suggest changes to water management strategies.
Water and Sanitation Minister Abida Mia said she would be lobbying for more funds so that districts could have enough funds for drilling boreholes.
“My ministry will look into all the water policies and come up with a plan to make sure that people in rural areas have potable water,” she said.