Member of Parliament for Kasungu North Mike Bango says water supply services should be opened up to private entities so that more people should have access to clean water.
He made the proposal when he delivered his response to President Lazarus Chakwera’s State of the National Address (SONA).
Bango said water boards should not be the only ones supplying water to residents in the country.
“Kasungu North believes that if we open up to private entities as we have done in other sectors, more areas will benefit from clean water as there are potential areas for business but water boards have no capacity to do that,” said Bango.
In the SONA, Chakwera said his government wants to increase coverage of the population with safe drinking water in urban and town centers serviced by the Water Boards from 3.4 million to 3.6 million.
Bango expressed hope that trading centre in his constituency will benefit from the increase.
In Malawi, water boards, which are government owned business entities, are the only ones mandated to sell piped water. However, the water boards mostly supply water to urban and peri-urban areas where they also fail to meet demand.
Malawians in rural areas mainly rely on boreholes and a large number of people use unprotected sources of water.
According to the 2018 Malawi Population and Housing Census, 61 percent (about 10.8 million) of the population use boreholes as main source of water while 13 percent (about 2.3 million) uses unprotected wells and rivers as main source of drinking water.