Government has pledge to continue implementing projects of providing safe water across the country to attain goal number six of the sustainable development goals by 2030.
President Peter Mutharika gave the assurance on Wednesday during the commemoration of World Water Day which coincided with this year’s National Water Conference in Mangochi.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is: ‘Waste water reuse for sustainable development.’
He said government would never compromise on water safety and sanitation as such would remain committed to the provision of potable water as a first priority.
“For this reason, we’ll continue implementing projects of providing safe water across the country. I want us to provide potable water to all people living in Malawi by 2030, this includes the people of Mangochi and the surrounding areas,” Mutharika assured.
The Malawian leader added that government would continue to implement policies that make water available, preserve, safe and utilize the same for agricultural production, domestic and industrial use.
“As I speak, we are in the process of drafting a legislation that provides an independent regulator of water supply and sanitation,” he disclosed. “We would like to take water and sanitation seriously and invest in waste water management.”
“Sadly, I have noticed that at most construction sites in cities and towns instead of developing sewer lines people opt for septic tanks which affects quality of ground water which is a health hazard that must be reversed,” Mutharika lamented.
The President advised people in the country to consider rain water harvesting in the rainy season for use during the dry period. He also encouraged people to preserve water resource catchment areas.
On this note, Mutharika said people had all the reasons to guard against water resources because the population was growing against available resources and that the demand for water was increasing.
“Besides, the world is going through the worst climate change known in history. Climate change is affecting rainfall patterns as a result our water resources are dwindling day by day because we’re destroying water resource catchment areas,” he added.
Mutharika emphasised that Lake Malawi is one of the greatest treasures of the country and that the Lake has one of the beautiful shores in Africa besides the water body having greatest species of fish in the World.
“Lake Malawi is the source of water which we use in our homes and offices. We should therefore keep our Lake clean all the time,” he pointed out.
“For those that may wish to explore oil, they should have nothing to fear. We’ll make sure to use off – shore clean technology during the exploration because we value our Lake and we’ll ensure that we implement measures to protect it at all costs,” Mutharika said.
United Nations Resident Representative, Mia Seppo urged stakeholders in the water sector to consider how to sustainably use the increasingly scarce fresh water reserves in an attempt to attain sustainable development goals by 2030.
“Malawi has a big challenge to make water accessible to all people owing to the fact that at present there are frequent interruptions of tap water in cities and towns such as Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu which can be attributed to dwindling water supplies in dams,” she noted.
Seppo admitted that Malawi continues to grapple with the effects of climate change which manifest in drought and floods which in turn also affects water availability, accessibility, quantity and quality.
Water Services Association of Malawi President (WASAMA), Alfonso Chikuni said the association would consider waste water management, managing water resources under the changing climatic conditions and water demand management.
“We recognize that sustainable management and use of water resources and the provision of quality services to the ever growing population not only underpin the future success of the nation they are also important to facilitate economic growth,” he said.
As part of the celebration and corporate social responsibility WASAMA donated K100, 000 to Mangochi Secondary School to service their water bills.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA