Some water boards could be stealing from us: Part 1
Not that I planned it; far from it. It happened by accident. I have been carrying out an experiment since December 20, 2022.
There are some children— as in little children— where I stay. I am talking of Chilomoni in Blantyre.
Sometime in August last year, I realised that water was not getting through my taps at home. When I told the land and house owner’s son, we went to the spot where we have our meters and he reopened the key and water started flowing normally. That is how I learned about my meter.
It turned out that while playing, the children innocently closed the key. That is what children do when playing, after all.
Then, on December 24 last year, I realised that water was not coming through the taps in my house. I immediately knew that it must have been a child who had innocently stopped the flow of the water at the meter again. When playing, children can do anything and we, adults, understand them.
Now, realising that I had kept about 30 litres of water when I started renting the house, I decided not to inform the land and house owner’s son so that, as we did in August last year, we could go to where the key is at the meter and reopen the water together.
I have never touched the key at the meter alone.
I, therefore, decided to start using the water I had been storing from December 2020, when I started staying in the house. After all, I had kept water for some two years because I was preparing for a day when, due to faults or some other natural calamity, water would stop flowing.
I anticipated days when it would be possible to have no water for a week or even two weeks because of, say, a natural calamity such as storms of cyclones. No need to say, just in the past 16 months, Malawi has seen the worst of storms and cyclones.
We had Tropical Cyclone Ana in January last year. Then, in March that year, we had Gombe. These natural phenomena caused damage to property, with some people and livestock dying.
We, Dear Pain, must brace ourselves for you— by ‘you’, I mean pain. For you, pain, seem to have built a nest in Malawi.
As former heads of State and government Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda, who are Tropical Cyclone Freddy goodwill ambassadors, said on Wednesday this week, climate change and its effects, notably cyclones, are here to stay.
Banda said, from the look of things, it is clear that climate change will have a lasting effect on countries such as Malawi, such that there is a need for lifestyle adjustment.
“The information we are getting is that, because of climate change, we are prone [to climatic shocks] and cyclones are bound to keep occurring. The President [Lazarus Chakwera] asked Dr Muluzi and I to assist as goodwill ambassadors and my understanding of a goodwill ambassador is that we have to go out there and support [recovery efforts].
“One thing he [Chakwera] emphasised was the need to sensitise Malawians to the importance of doing their part and making sure that they do not go back to those dangerous places so that we, as a country, do not lose lives in that manner again. Cyclone will come back but what is required is that we must ensure that we train and prepare ourselves for next time. This means working with all stakeholders for the betterment of our lives,” she said.
Muluzi concurred with Banda, saying people who stay in disaster-prone areas have no option but to move to safer places.
“You may recall that, back in January 2022, we experienced Cyclone Ana followed by Gombe; we lost people that time. What we are seeing now is a continuation of what we saw last year. Now the question that we, as a nation, should be asking ourselves is: Should we continue suffering like that? Our message to our chiefs in Blantyre and elsewhere is that those that are in areas that are prone to disasters should move away and go to a safer place,” he said.
These two former leaders are spot on. They have captured the context of the natural threat at hand.
As I have said, I have been preparing for an eventuality of having no water due to some natural calamity and that is why I have been keeping water I stored for two years and months.
When water suddenly stopped flowing in my taps end December 2022, I decided to use the water I have been storing. I have used three big plastic containers from December 22 last year to April 1 this year (2023).
And I got no drop of water from the taps during this time because the water could not pass through the meter reader after one of the children touched the key.