Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has refused to supply potable water to
Mchitanjiru residents which was one of the hot spot areas of cholera
during the 2017/2018 rainy season, saying the area falls under Central
Region Water Board (CRWB).
LWB Assistant Public Relations Officer, Vanessa Chidyaonga made the remarks
at Mchitanjiru Primary School recently where several duty bearers had an
interface meeting with Golombe and Chikwera Bwalo forums initiated by
Parent and Child Healthy Initiative (PACHI) through Cholera Preparedness
and Response Accountability Project who convened to discuss and provide
solutions to critical health problems.
“Mchitanjiru and other areas in Lilongwe city surely need clean water
but we are not the rightful body to provide the services in this area.
Therefore we will rope in CRWB, to assist them.
“We are dedicated to provide services but the city development plans are
more adversary to it because earlier on, the plans were that the city
would be growing towards the north which is fully provided for with
water. To the contrary, the city is growing southwards and we do not
have ready tanks and other needed technical materials to help,”
CRWB, through its Spokesperson, Zeferino Mitumba said it is mandated to
supply water in semi-urban areas in the central region denying
responsibility saying it cannot supply water in the city of Lilongwe
likely area in question.
“I would like to enlighten that I don’t know the area you are referring
to because we have only 22 water supply schemes, namely Kasungu
Municipality, Santhe TC, Kochilira –Kamwendo, Mchinji Boma, Mkanda TC,
Dwangwa TC, Nkhota-kota Boma, Lifuwu, Salima Lakeshore, Salima Boma;
“Chipoka, Ntcheu Boma, Bembeke Dedza Boma, Dedza Secondary School,
Linthipe 1, Mitundu TC, Bunda College, Madisi, Mponela, Dowa Boma and
Ntchisi Boma. Therefore does it match any of the mentioned places or
which of the mentioned schemes is near it? The place you are talking
about is not serviced yet,” said Mitumba when responding to a questionnaire.
Senior Environmental Health Officer, Samson Kumphale who represented the
office of Lilongwe District Heath Office asked why LWB was selective in
providing services saying other areas within its jurisdiction were being
provided services with rapid response.
“Why is it that some areas like Area 43 have quicker attention from your
office unlike others like Area 38 and here at Mchitanjiru and yet they
need the same services and cholera continues hitting hard due to the use
of unsafe water. Do you consider them faster because they have better
“Lilongwe DHO’s office is deemed as a failure in containing cholera in
some areas because some relevant authorities have surely failed to
deliver their services well, can you consider engaging the CRWB with
speed?” pleaded Kumphale.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Senior GVH Mchitanjiru said he
was surprised why LWB publicly disowned them yet it had constructed a
tank just close to his village some years back but it’s not benefitting
“It’s unfortunate that LWB is depriving us such a very important service
which is life. It was the use of unsafe water that escalated cholera
cases in my area besides open defecation and failure to practice hygiene
methods which claimed three lives.
“Out of 600 households only 250 had toilets by December 2017, but
currently 450 households have toilets and August 30 is set as deadline
for the remaining households to dig toilets or be fined K20, 000 for
defying this order.
“To maximize hygiene we have ordered the construction of toilets in all
graveyards in my area because during funerals it is another time of
intense open defecations for an area with 1, 250 people,” said SGVH
He then appealed for the construction of a clinic in the area saying the
current situation of relying on Nathenje, Kawale and Bwaila was
negatively affecting them since all these health facilities are very far
Ground Water Development Officer, Grace Masautso, who represented the
office of Lilongwe District Commissioner advised the residents to use
Village and Area Development Committees to demand the clinic through the
Councilors and Member of Parliament, considering that Local Development
Fund and District Development Fund were tools to answer their challenges.
PACHI is a Non-Governmental Organization which is implementing Cholera
Preparedness and Response Accountability Project with financial aid from
UNICEF in order to contain and prevent cholera in hot spot areas in
Lilongwe with an aim of preventing cholera outbreak.