Low government funding towards water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities is limiting provision of safe water, especially in rural areas, WaterAid policy and governance programme manager Phaniso Kalua has said.
Speaking in an interview recently, Kalua said many people in rural areas suffer from waterborne diseases because they have no access to safe water as their district councils get minimal funding to construct or rehabilitate water and sanitation facilities.
“There are a lot of issues affecting provision of water and sanitation in Malawi. The budget allocations for water and sanitation are very minimal and have been declining over the years. With low financing, it means you cannot provide the necessary facilities for people in rural areas to get good water,” said Kalua.
In the 2013/14 National Budget, government has allocated K100 million for the Dispersed Borehole Construction Programme to drill 50 boreholes, lower than the K125 million allocated in the 2012/13 National Budget to drill 65 boreholes.
The Ground Water Development and Management Programme has not been given an allocation in the new budget while in the 2012/13 budget, K35 million was allocated for the same, according to the 2013/14 output-based budget document number 5.
Minister of Water Development Ritchie Muheya recently said government has so far drilled about 946 boreholes out of the targeted 965 since 2006.
“Each constituency was expected to get five boreholes and so far more than 946 boreholes have been constructed across the country,” said Muheya, adding government spends over K1 million to drill one borehole.