The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) will tomorrow lead a consumers’ march to Blantyre Water Board (BWB) head office where they will hold vigils until their demands on water shortages are met.
Addressing the media in Blantyre yesterday, Cama executive director John Kapito said the water shortage situation in Blantyre is putting a burden on women as they have to wake up early in the morning to look for safe water.
He said it is saddening that the board has failed to understand and appreciate the gravity of frequent water shortages.
Said Kapito: “Blantyre Water Board needs to be sensitive to people’s needs. There is no way it can be asking for patience from water users or telling them not to panic while they continue to use unsafe water.
“As such, consumers will hold vigils at the board until it makes commitment that it will start to provide townships facing water shortages with water through tanks every morning and evening and a detailed programme of the supply will be made available in the media.”
According to Kapito, the march will start from Kamuzu Stadium upper ground where participating consumers are expected to wear dirty clothes and uncombed hair to prove to the board’s management that due to the water situation they are not bathing or washing.
“We have plans to spend the whole day, or even weeks at BWB until our demands are met. We are going to collect feaces, which we will scatter at the premises so that the management there can appreciate what consumers who do not have water are coping up with,” he said.
According to a petition Cama has sent to the board, some of the demands include that BWB should ensure that the quality of water it provides in bowsers is not compromised; and ensure that consumers are not provided with inflated water bills at a time they are getting erratic water supplies.
Meanwhile, BWB has indicated that it is upgrading the system by replacing old pumps with new ones to improve water situation in Blantyre.
In a statement a few days ago, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development called for calm, saying government is doing all it can to resolve the water problem.