12 July 2018

Malawi: Karonga People Protest Against Water Bill Bloating

Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) customers in the lakeshore district of Karonga say they will stage a demonstration soon to lay bare their frustrations regarding the manner in which the government owned utility company treats them.

The demonstrations, which are going to be spearheaded by one of the district's vocal civil society organizations (CSOs)--Karonga Youth for Justice and Development (KYJD)--, are aimed at bringing to the attention of the board the "crookedness" and "below standard customer care" offered.

KYJD executive director, Steve Simusokwe, told Nyasa Times that people in the district have been let down by NRWB.

Said Simusokwe: "It is too much now. How should someone pay over K100 000 for domestic use? The truth is that the bills are bloated, and it is a big syndicate involving even the top brass within the board."

Speaking before, at a funeral in the district on Wednesday--amid clapping and ululations--, Simusokwe said it was unfortunate that much as Karonga is blessed with abundant rivers and Lake Malawi, it was regretful that government could not yet make water affordable to its people.

"That is why we want to protest our frustrations and ask government to think about our lives on these issues. We have resorted to drinking unsafe water because tap water has become too expensive," said Simusokwe.

NRWB chief executive, Titus Mtegha, could not pick up his phone but recently Malawians have been frustrated with such utility bodies.

Last year, residents of Area 18 in the capital Lilongwe protested when fecal matter from a sewage contaminated the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) pipes.

LWB had to apologize.

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