Malawi: Govt Says Waterboards Struggling Financially Leading to Poor Service Delivery

Government has conceded that some waterboards are struggling financially leading to poor service delivery.

Minister of Information, Moses Kunkuyu said water boards in the country are failing to provide adequate water to all people because they are working at a loss.

The minister said this in Blantyre on Saturday during an interface with different stakeholders aimed at finding solutions on how water parastatals can improve service delivery for the benefit of the communities.

Kunkuyu said as it stands now, it is difficult for water boards to work efficiently since they are facing financial challenges arising from the losses.

The Minister said the interface is, therefore, meant to explain to stakeholders why water boards operate on a loss every year and to ask if the stakeholders can allow the boards to a little bit adjust water prices upwards in order to improve service delivery.

He said, for example, Blantyre Water Board has been making losses since 2018.According to Kunkuyu, in 2020 and 2022, the board made K5.7 billion and K8.1 billion losses respectively.

"Northern Region Water Board is already working at K8.1 billion loss. If the proposal to hike water is agreed upon, the water supply will be improved and diseases like Cholera can be avoided, " he said.

Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Liana Kakhobwe Chapota said her ministry is working around the clock to ensure that all boards are providing clean and quality water to every person saying by establishing a special ministry to look for water and sanitation, government has shown seriousness on water availability.

"I would like to assure all people that government has put in place proper ways to ensure that the hiking of water should not be a burden to people. We are taking all kiosks back to water boards to avoid unnecessary adjustments to water price.

"It remains the current administration's wish to ensure that all people should have access to clean and potable water always. We recognise that water is life hence our meeting today for improved service delivery," she said.

Senior Chief Kuntaja of Blantyre said after learning of how water boards are operating, the adjustment of water price can be the only solution for the challenges they are facing.

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