MHRC to hold public inquiry on Area 18 water contamination

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The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) will today hold a public hearing on the contamination of water at Area 18 in Lilongwe.

According to MHRC, the inquiry will take place at the organisation’s offices in Lilongwe.

On 18 July, water from Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) mixed up with sewage in Area 18 after LWB supply pipes burst underground near a broken sewer system allowing the sewer water to go into the supply pipe.

MHRC says it has been monitoring the incident and has noticed that the contamination has ignited much concern to LWB customers in the area and the general public.

“The commission in respect of sections 129 and 130 of the Constitutions of the Republic of Malawi and further to this, the Human Rights Commission Act in sections 15 and 18 has carried out preliminary investigations and has established that there is a great need for a public hearing to be conducted on the matter,” says a letter from MHRC.

The commission says the public hearings will help to examine the human rights implications that have risen and will facilitate remedial actions.

The commission has since asked duty bearers and rights holders such as block leaders and residents as well as officers from LWB and Lilongwe City Council to attend the public hearing.

The mandate of MHRC as stipulated in Section 129 of the Constitution of the Republican of Malawi is to promote and protect human rights and investigate violations of human rights.

Section 16 (1) of the Human Rights Commission Act gives the commission the mandate to hold public hearings to  hear and consider complaints and petitions within its competence brought before it by individuals or groups of individuals.

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