The meeting draws participants from all the participating districts, line ministries, water board officials, other stakeholders and media. The national meeting is a culmination of a study that was conducted between January and April, 2015. According to the Program Manager for Kalondolondo, Jephter Mwanza, the assessments are carried out by its partners to give feedback and provide possible solutions to the challenges facing the sector.
‘The feedback that we get during such interface meetings is crucial as it gauges the level of satisfaction consumers have on service delivery of social services, in this case, we are talking about piped water. And this national meeting is a form to share findings with policy makers and propose solutions to address factors inhibiting piped water service delivery in Malawi,’said Mwanza.
A consortium of Action Aid International, Plan Malawi International and Council for Non-Governmental Organizations in Malawi, CONGOMA, Kalondolondo is working with 43 Civil Society Organizations in the country.
Among the key challenges mentioned are encroachment on water intakes, catchment areas and water reservoirs, sand mining, which affect the levels and flow of water in many rivers in the country.
In response to the report that was presented by Kalondolondo, Chief Executive Officer for Northern Region Waterboard, Titus Mtegha commended Kalondolondo for the feedback.
‘This is a good feedback for us as one of the service providers in this sector. It will help us improve on the grey areas and maintain those that we are doing well. As a board, we are currently working to improve the supply system in Chitipa. Like the rest of the water boards in the country, the biggest challenge is funding. These projects require substantial amounts of funds which we can not generate ourself at the current water tariff rates,’ said Mtegha.
The rest of the water boards in the country except Blantyre Water board, were represented during the meeting.
Despite the dry outs, intermittent and low water supplies, consumers also expressed concerns over billing systems by the water boards.
Little or no upgrades in most water supply systems in the country is worsening the situation as demand for water due to the growing population is also increasing.
Realizing that water is life and that it is needed on daily basis in homes and industries, there is need for concerted efforts to find lasting solutions to end the challenges currently rocking the country’s water sector.