THE Eastern Water and Sewerage Company says some boreholes in Chipata are contaminated with faecal matter.
Defending the government’s move to tax ground water, EWSC managing director Lytone Kanowa, who was sharing the National Water and Supply Council sector report recently, said the construction of some boreholes was poor.
“In Chipata, we did a test of 32 boreholes to find out whether the water that is coming from those boreholes is adequate or fit for human
consumption. And we found that 53 per cent of the boreholes that we sampled in Chipata are contaminated with faecal matter, heavily contaminated with faecal matter. Why? It’s because of the construction which was poor. It’s because of the specifications of the boreholes which were poor. It’s because of the location of the boreholes in proximity to the contaminant…” Kanowa said.
“This is a loss. The people who drilled those 32 boreholes are at a loss. At least for the 17 boreholes that were found to be contaminated are at loss today because ground water is expected to be perhaps safer if you locate boreholes at a good place, if the specifications for drilling are okay. A borehole is supposed to last a lifetime if the specifications are okay but other boreholes silt up within a year or two and the customers or the owners of the boreholes had to drill new boreholes. Now because government wants to improve the water supply
coverage to universal coverage, it wants to put in measures to ensure that we have sustainable infrastructure development and that’s why we have the three statutory instruments.”
He said the statutory instruments on ground water utilisation was extremely beneficial to the government and to individuals who have the boreholes.
Kanowa said the government realised that there was need to monitor the extraction of groundwater.
“The process of coming up with the statutory instruments has been quite consultative. The government did consult all competing users of water,” he said.
Earlier, Kanowa gave a detailed review of the water utility’s performance as assessed by the NWASCO.
“The performance for EWSC has tumbled by one point, I would mention. In 2016, EWSC was ranked number four but in 2017 it was ranked number five among the eleven water utilities in the country. That’s the overall performance of the company. In the areas of infrastructure development, EWSC did not benefit anything from government apart from the small project that we did in Mwami and Chanida and also a small project funded by DTF in Nyimba,” said Kanowa, who added that what the company did in terms of increasing sanitation and water supply coverage was very insignificant.