Water, priority number one issue in Dowa
By Vincent Gunde – Malawi Exclusive
District Water Development Officer for Dowa, Timothy Banda, has appealed to water NGO partners in the district to join hands in ending the water woes, which is a priority number one issue in the district.
Banda said the entire district is facing water challenges despite tremendous efforts by a number of NGO partners through implementation of water interventions involving drilling of boreholes saying the major challenges experienced by most communities in the district include lack of inadequate safe water supply facilities as well as salinity of ground water resources.
The appeal is following the outcry of the people of Chatewa and its surrounding villages in the area of Traditional Authority Chakhaza B in the district, who are crying for provision of safe water supply through piped water supply or borehole mechanization in the area after the drilling of boreholes have failed to provide a lasting solution.
Chatewa villages have two Group village heads, Duncan and Kanyerere, 4 boreholes drilled by World Vision Malawi, 3 of these have its waters tasting salty and one produces water which is not enough to satisfy the needs of the surrounding community.
As water from the 3 boreholes is not good for drinking, some people are using these waters for moulding bricks for their houses with others watering their gardens for vegetable growing while women wake up very early in the morning to Tsale valley for shallow well waters.
These shallow wells produces inadequate amount of water at a time mainly during the day unlike the night hours and for one woman to fill up a -20 Litre bucket, she has to wait for 3 to 4 hours.
To make the outcry worse, communities from Lobani villages walk about 5 Kilometres into Chatewa villages for the same shallow well waters because their borehole waters in their villages produces water which is not good for human consumption as well as washing clothes.
According to the Water Development Officer for Dowa, Timothy Banda, a good part of Traditional Authority Chakhaza falls under World Vision Malawi as its catchment area, Kasangazi Area Development Program besides other NGOs presence in the area.
Dowa District Hospital’s Environmental Officer who is coordinating WASH programs in Kasangazi area, Joseph Lwesya, said World Vision Malawi has tried its best to reach out to some villages in the area with new borehole mechanizations, moving from borehole drillings to piped water system as evidenced with part of Nakutepa villages.
Lwesya said World Vision Malawi has borehole mechanizations or piped water systems in villages such as Sungeni, Chinkhwili, Chakhaza and Nakutepa, expressing hope that in the near future, communities of Chatewa will be supplied with water to end decades of woes for water.
He said the new borehole mechanizations are very expensive and the organization always seeks to reach out to one community every year but the problem of salty water is well noted by the water NGOs partners in the Kasangazi area.