People in Mangochi have expressed concern over the persistent low water pressure and at times taps running dry a situation that has persisted for two months now.
Some residents have told MBC that the development is a health risk in light of COVID-19 which requires good hygiene as one of the preventive measures to halt further spread of the pandemic.
Random interviews that MBC conducted around Mangochi Boma reveal that a lot of people including women are finding it hard to do their households chores as water is coming out with low pressure.
Patuma Sanudi from Ntalimanja area says the development has forced her to be using untreated water from Shire River.
She narrates, “I have no option but to go and draw water from the river for household chores. Last month we used to have water but with low pressure. However, starting from this month we have had dry taps in our area.”
Meanwhile, Elube Musa from Karonga area wondered as to why the Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) is failing to supply enough water to the residents yet Shire River and Lake Malawi have plenty of water.
Musa said the situation is affecting hygiene practices that are being encouraged by health officials in the district.
She has since urged the water utility board to rectify the challenge.
“We are surprised why Southern Region Water Board is failing to give us enough water as if the water is being taken from far places while we have Lake Malawi and Shire River close to us,” she wondered.
Meanwhile, the water utility body responsible for the Southern Region has shifted the blame to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi-ESCOM.
Speaking to MBC Online, Spokesperson for the SRWB Rita Makwangwala has described the persistent electricity blackout as the main contributing factor to the low water pressure.
She says, “In our case, we depend on power from ESCOM but for the past two months we have been experiencing power shortages a development that prompted us to slow down even stop some of our pumping machines.”
Adding its voice on the matter, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi-ESCOM says despite facing challenges in electricity supply, SRWB must shoulder the blame for its failure to have an alternative source of energy other than depending on ESCOM all year round.
Innocent Chitosi, spokesperson for ESCOM has told MBC online that during the rainy season electricity supply face natural challenges that affect power supply such as strong winds and lightning.
“The Water Boards should stop shifting the blame to us. why are they failing to have other alternatives apart from depending on ESCOM all year round?” Queried Chitosi.
As the country is leaving no stone unturned in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic it is feared that if water scarcity in Mangochi is not rectified the fight against the pandemic is going to be compromised.