Balaka Balaka district is said to be prone to have dry water taps come August 1, 2018 because of low water table levels at its source, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has established.
According to Mpira Water Scheme Manager, Samuel Khomani, the dam located in Ntcheu is the only source of water for Balaka district since independence.
Briefing Balaka Council members on Monday, he said during the 2017-2018 rainy season, the dam did not harvest enough water due to the fact that Ntcheu district did not receive adequate rainfall.
He explained that the dam has quickly dried up because of the high demand of water as it was designed to cater for only 284, 000 people, noting that the demand has since doubled to serve over 500, 000 people.
In view of the fact that the dam did not harvest enough water, coupled with the fact that there is huge demand of water in Balaka, the amount of water that is left at the dam is so low, Khomani said.
In this case, for us not to drain the water at once, we are rationing the supply of water to consumers. We are supposed to produce 500 litres per hour, but we are currently producing 200 litres per hour which is enough for only 150, 000 people per day, he added.
As a remedy to have water running beyond August when there will be no production of water from the dam, Khomani said the scheme plans to have back-up boreholes to be installed in Ntcheu which would help to supply water after August.
We are still mobilizing resources to have two boreholes in Ntcheu that will help supply water come August 1, 2018 when the dam will have dried up, he told the council.
During the 2017 2018 rainy seasons, Mpira Dam managed to harvest 10 metres column of water against the required 19 metres column of water, according to Khomani.
As of now government has intervened hiring a consultant who is already on the ground assessing the situation at the dam, he said, adding that The consultant is expected to give a design for a horizon of up to 2027 on what can be added to the system to meet the demand of water.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA