Written by Vincent Gunde
Group Village headman Chiphanga of T/A Chiwere in Dowa has hailed the Malawi Human Rights Resource Center( MHRRC) for the formulation of service charters which has seen the people of Chiphanga and surrounding villages enjoying safe and clean water from a borehole constructed by UNICEF.
Chiphanga villages has for many years been sidelined in borehole drillings forcing the residents of the area with no option but to drink water from a sewage system originated from Mvera Support Battalion.
The MHRRC organised a media tour to see the challenges the people of Chiphanga have been sailing through as the people of the area witnessed the first borehole constructed after 54 years of the country’s independence.
According to GVH Chiphanga said a borehole constructed by the UNICEF was the first of its kind in the area and has reduced the challenge of water where women used to wake up at dawn hours fetching for water from unprotected wells.
Chief Chiphanga said communities from the area have wasted government resources interms of drugs due their frequent attacks by cholera and dysentery a situation which made some other villages around stopping begging for drinking water in the village in fear of being attacked by cholera and other water borne diseases.
He said eventhough communities are very grateful to have a borehole, people of Kangumbwe l and Thumba are walking two to three kilometres to and fro drawing water from this borehole, hence a great need for partners and NGOs to think of them to have their own boreholes to ease the growing demand for safe and clean water.
However, one of the residents of Chiphanga villages, Mr. Miyasi Chikhosi faulted government for letting people of the area drinking water from a sewage system for many years.
Chikhosi called on Human Rights bodies to put pressure on government to compensate communities of Chiphanga in the district for failing to protect them from bandage of using dirty sewage water.
He called upon Malawians to sympathise with the people of Chiphanga in condemning the barbaric behaviour as displayed by government watching people drinking sewage water for many years as if they were not paying tax.
The villager said the situation seen at Chiphanga villages is more similar to that of Area 18 in Lilongwe where the residents were supplied with water mixed with faeces.
The media tour to Chiphanga villages in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa was organised by MHRRC in close collaboration with Mvera Aids Support Organisation( MASO) and Tiyanjane CBO with financial support from the Danish Church Aid( DCA).