Communities in Chitipa complain over contaminated water: ‘We drink with animals’

By Joseph Mbughi

People at Kasisi in Chitipa district have complained about unprotected water, saying they drink together with animals and clean water is found 10 kilometres away from the area.

This was disclosed when Evangelical Lutheran Development Service (ELDS) had an interface meeting between community members from Kasisi with District Water Office in the district.

Speaking in an interview, concerned community member Green Mwanguku said it is very sad and painful for them to be struggling to have safe water.

“We are drinking from one source together with animals such as goats, cattle and monkeys. Most of the time when we go for medical assistant, people from Kasisi are found with diseases like dysentery and Chorea because of water is contaminated,” Mwanguku said.

Mwanguku further said they have been going to district water office in the district demanding a borehole for the community but there has been no positive response so far.

Women in the area said they walk a distance of 10 kilometres to fetch clean water and nursery schools have been closed because children were getting sick due to the dirty water.

According to District Social Welfare Officer Joyce Luhana, the rights of people in the community are being violated.

She asked the people responsible in the community to go and demand for boreholes from government so that safe water should be provided in their community which will help to prevent some waterborne diseases.

Assistant hydrological officer Quitwell Chisale said the problem of water at Kasisi and the whole district has been there for a long time but there are no measurements that have been taken.

” In 2011 UNICEF donated 75 boreholes in the district but only 50 boreholes were drilled and some boreholes were allocated to this community but I wonder up-to-date not even single boreholes in this community,” Chisale said.

Chisale asked community members to consult their Member of Parliament saying there was a fund which were approved in Parliament for borehole infrastructure development.

This fund is used for maintenance and boreholes drilling in rural areas in order to have access to clean water.

Evangelical Lutheran Development Service district project officer Mascot Maseko said the organization is there to make sure the rights of people are not violated in any way.

“When the community members came to our office complaining for this issue we were so impressed this made us to call people responsible for this so that their concerns should be heard when the officer are present,” Maseko said.

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