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University students clash with police over water scarcity at campus

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By Feston Malekezo: 

Students at the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic campus in Blantyre yesterday took to the streets and barricaded the main highway in protest against intermittent water supply.

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The students blocked the Masauko Chipembere Highway over the situation causing an hour long traffic jam with businesses coming to a standstill.

According to the students the college has gone four days without running water and they plan was to march to Blantyre Water Board Headquarters at Mudi to voice out their concerns.

“Water is life we all know that but with the scarcity this has raised fears of compromised hygiene at the campus and this is not the first time we are experiencing water scarcity,’ said Polytechnic Students Union President (PSU), Japhet Nthala.

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But police used tear gas to disperse the students.

A statement from the college’s administration signed by the college’s acting registrar Yamikani Chilinde announced suspension of classes over the situation yesterday.

“I write to inform you that afternoon classes for Tuesday, 25 September 2018 have been cancelled due to the current water shortage. Management is working tirelessly with the Blantyre Water Board to make sure the supply of water is restored as soon as humanly possible,” reads the statement.

The statement indicates that classes are expected to resume today.

Meanwhile, the water was fixed an hour after the scuffle according to the PSU president Nthala.

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