Poor sanitation at regional lands office


Members of staff at the Northern Region Lands Office risk contracting diseases as they have gone for four months without functional toilets at their offices.

The situation is pathetic as 45 members of staff and clients who patronise the offices for different services relieve themselves under trees located within the compound.

The Daily Times visit to the offices on Friday, found both staff and clients complaining about top management’s negligence to repair the toilets.


“We are failing to understand reasons behind management’s failure to repair our toilets which we think cannot cost us more than K150,000. Since the toilets broke down, the doors were closed and everyone decides where to go apart from within the premises.

“We know the commissioner’s toilet is operational and we believe that is the reason he is not taking some simple maintenance as a priority,” said one of the members of staff who feared reprisals if named.

Daniel Chirwa, from Nkhata Bay, said he pays to relieve himself at a private toilet every time he visits the offices.


“I have come here for three times. But still see the toilets closed. The urinal is pathetic and some people who cannot manage to pay for private toilets relieve themselves behind the walls. That is not healthy,” Chirwa said.

However, spokesperson in the Ministry of Lands and Housing, Charles Vintula, said it is the responsibility of the regional commissioner to conduct simple maintenance at the office.

“The commissioner is supposed to use Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT) funds to repair the toilets and other small maintenance. The ministry is only responsible for big projects like buildings. We may get involved in small projects if we receive a formal communication on the problem, which in this case we did not,” Vintula said.

When contacted, the Regional Lands Commissioner, Arnold Thumba, says a plumber is working on the problem.

He said the problem will be rectified by this week.

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