Human rights defenders meeting in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, on Thursday agreed to take to task water utility companies on the shortage of water that has hit cities and towns.
The human rights defenders fear the continued shortage is affecting residents who have resorted to using unsafe water sources such as wells and rivers that are contaminated.
The activists met to compile and document human rights violation cases occurring in the Southern Region.
Â Human Right Consultative Committee (HRCC) vice-chairperson Margaret Ali said it is high time they acted on the matter.
Â â€œThis time, we should get together and see what we can do. Our children are getting infected every day for drinking contaminated water. Hospitals are affected, especially the maternity ward. There is no water,â€ she said.
Activist Ken Williams Mhango saidÂ most residents draw water from Mudi River, the most contaminated stream in Blantyre with raw sewerage and industrial effluent.
â€œThey draw water for cooking and washing from this heavily polluted river. Our children are bathing in this river. The water is stinking, but they have no any other choice. We must take action,â€ said Mhango.
They also discussed challenges that human rights defenders face in execution of their duties.
Some of the emerging issues included child trafficking, prisoners conditions, child rights, gender-based violence.
The defenders agreed to come up with an alert system whenever there are human rights violations so that it forms a strong basis on reports sent to the United Nations.