East Africa CSOs bang heads together

by Raphael Mweninguwe

East Africa civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are meeting in Kigali, Rwanda to develop workplans that are “customised to their context” in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

The meeting is also re-igniting  a momentum in building a strong and vibrant CSO movement that is empowered to influence policies, budgetary allocations and decision making processes towards inclusive sustainable WASH within the region by 2022/23.

One of the key objectives of the meeting is to build a common agenda on WASH advocacy among civil society networks for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6.

The meeting runs between 4-6 September 2019. It has attracted a number of CSOs working in the sector from East Africa Region with funding from the East Africa WaterAid regional Office.

At the end of the meeting it is expected that a singular East Africa CS action plan formulated around a common agenda on WASH advocacy and also cohesive messages are developed on the prioritized theme.



SawamNet Meet Opens in Joberg

Johannesburg,16 April 2019-Southern Africa Wash Media Network (SawamNet) training workshop has opened in South Africa in Johannesburg today.

The workshop has drawn participants from media houses from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region. The aim of the workshop is to equip the media with the skills in reporting Wash in the region.

Southern Africa Wash Regional Office is sponsoring the workshop.

The meeting will take three days and Chilufya Chileshe from WaterAid Regional Office opened the workshop.

She called on participants to use the meeting for the good of their journalism career and report of Wash sector.


Water crisis hits some Ntcheu Communities

A 3.72 million cubic metres Mpira dam in Ntcheu district in the central region of Malawi is gone. And a total of 500,000 people are without water.
The reason for this crisis is simply because government is not interested to helping communities to be supplied with clean water.
The construction of the dam was finalized in 1993 and soon after its construction people had no water problems. Boreholes were also drilled in the area where the dam is situation but today its just history.
Because the dam is dry due to negligence coupled with climate change communities have resorted to walking long distances in search of water.
But government is promising that something will be done to help communities get the much needed water for their lives.
With rains now falling communities hope that the levels of water in the dam will improve and government hopes that this too will improve the situation.
Ntcheu district is one of the 28 districts in the country facing serious water crisis and government has been promising communities to improve on water supply but the situation seems not changing.
Many other areas are without proper water supply and with high levels of corruption currently underway it remains to be seen whether communities, not only in Ntcheu and other districts will be supplied with clean water.

Thieves ransack water systems

In an attempt to scare communities thieves in most parts of Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital are on a mission stealing water taps which they sell to vendors at black markets for as low as US$4 each.

In a recent development thieves went on a rampage in townships of Area 49, 25 and nearby areas where a number of water connecting equipment have been stolen.

“All this is happening because of high level of unemployment,” said Andrew Galeta, a resident of the capital.

He said most of these people stealing water pipes and other accessories are selling them cheap for survival.

“These people need money for the daily survival. Selling them at cheap price means they need money they dont carry even if they are caught and beaten up,” he said.

Malawi has one of the highest unemployment rate in the region with labour statistics indicating that over 35% of the youth are unemployed.

But in an attempt to minimise such unemployment government with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) is implementing a youth project aimed at increasing employment rate.

But with the population of the youth growing each day, it is unlikely that thieving of water pipes and other equipment will be a thing of the past.


Malawi, Zambia cholera outbreak a sad development

By Ralph Mweninguwe
Its is sad that both Malawi and Zambia are facing a cholera outbreak. This should not have happens in the first place considering that both countries spend millions of US$ on water, sanitation and hygiene activities.
Sad still is the fact that both governments do not adequately fund the Wash sector. This outbreak comes on the background that the two countries I 2017 declared a number of villages open defecation free (ODF).
This should not have happened in the first place. Lives could have been spared and not lost to cholera outbreak. And as we enter the new year we must be ashamed of ourselves that we are losing lives that could have been saved.

Lilongwe Water Board Executive Directors should be fired

Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has been condemned by many including NGOs for giving people in Lilongwe water containing human wastes. I think this is a serious issue and LWB executive team must be held accountable for it. But interestingly the Malawi Government led by President Peter Mutharika hasn’t even condemned it and the president is the Minister Responsible for Water issues. Ministry of Health is quite too on the matter.

The people who drunk the faeces are also quite and are busy complaining on FB and other social media. What a pathetic situation we are in. The Parliamentary Committee responsible for such issues says it wants to meet LWB Chief Executive and other senior guys but after meeting them they have no powers to fire the director. Only the president or the Board can do so. What has happened should not have happened in the first place. Water is life and drinking contaminated water is uncalled for.

I am of the view that the whole executive team be fired and answer for their actions.