Lilongwe Water Board Kiosks Vandalized

Lilongwe, Lilongwe Water Board constructed some Kiosks for residence of Area 24 and 38 to benefit from safe water but residence are now struggling to find water due to vandalism of the Kiosks in the areas.

Lilongwe Water Board had put in place some measures to ensure that residence from Lilongwe should have safe and adequate water in their respective areas, but things are not like that anymore.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) Tuesday, Board Chairman of Tsabango Water Users Association in the area, Joseph Patel, said that they received the report about vandalism some 5 to 6 months ago from one of our water attendant in conjunction with the Block leaders in the areas.

“Yes its true people are vandalizing the kiosks and we have reported the issue to Lilongwe Water Board and they have promised us that they will rectify the problem as soon they receive funds from donors since the people in the Areas are struggling to access clean water,” he said.

Acting Public Relation Officer for the Lilongwe Water Board, Travor Phoya, said that it is true that we received the report about vandalized kiosks some months ago.

He added that, “the problems in Areas 24 and 38 are indeed vandalism and for some specific kiosks, it’s about landownership issues. We have some kiosks which were vandalized; thieves broke into the kiosks and stole taps, grill doors and other necessities rendering them unusable. We will soon be maintaining all the affected kiosks”.

He added that in the same area, we have some kiosks that are not working after we finished construction because of land ownership wrangles.

LWB got land through the community leadership, and it happens that when there are misunderstandings between the local leaders and it affects operations of the kiosks.

Currently we are waiting on the local leaders in the area to resolve the wrangles so that the kiosks would start working.

Phoya said that it is our interest as a board to make sure that communities around the city have access to potable water.

The board spent US$3000 about K2,5 million to construct one kiosk.

Before we rectify the problem at the moment we are also engaging the communities in ant-vandalism campaign where the locals are being encouraged to take ownership of the water supply infrastructure and Police against any forms of vandalism.

A Block leader of the Area 38, Chatsalira Josam Lundu explained that he is aware of the incident and had reported it to the Sub Chair of Water Users within the area.

He said the issue was taken to their leaders of Water Users Association in the Areas.

Lundu said, “the course of these wrangles are between landowner where the kiosks were built and they asked the Water Users Association as to why are employing water sellers from far.

“We have children who are not working; we cannot allow that to happen. You will never sell the water. So after being stopped by the landowners, thieves took advantages to vandalize the kiosks. But what we have seen as leaders from Association would have to consider the landowners request to rectify this issue “he said.

Water attendant at a certain kiosk the name withheld, she said “it’s true that some kiosks were vandalized in the area but some time it’s because of people’s negligence around that particular kiosk because they don’t look after them. We need to understand that the Kiosks are for us and we need to look after and care them.”

One of the water beneficial said they are finding it difficult to fetch water at the boreholes or distanced water kiosks.

“We want hygiene water and Lilongwe water Board should consider us as soon as possible to solve this problem, because some people in their respective houses cannot afford to fix their own taps from Water board ” she said.

She added that women are the one who affected much unlike men who don’t have mercy what they know is vandalizing these kiosks.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA