There are fears that Zomba city and surrounding areas can encounter water problems in the nearby future following the decreasing of water levels at Mulunguzi dam on Zomba mountain.
In a report compiled by Judith Msonkho of Chanco Community Radio, Times Maravi can reveal that recent studies conducted on the dam which is the sole reservoir, shows the decrease of water levels.
When asked to shed more light on the matter, the Public Relations Officer for Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) McDonald Phiri hinted that the problem is a direct result of rampant cutting down of trees in Zomba mountain. However, Phiri was quick to put the blame on Zomba Mountain Preservation for failing to solve the issue.
In his remarks, the manager for Zomba Mountain Preservation said it is indeed true that trees have been cut down wantonly. He then gave an insurance policy to people that meanwhile they have a nursery with 100 000 tree seedlings waiting to be planted soon.
Mulunguzi dam which pumps 30 litres per second was constructed by Malawi Government in 2001 to combat water problem issues that usually affected Zomba city and surrounding areas. In the 90’s water was a big problem in the city and it vehemently affected heath and education. If the problem is not addressed timely women and children can suffer a lot as they cannot afford to travel long distances to fetch water.
Despite the impending water crisis, water has been used anyhow in most parts of Zomba city as it can be observed by wrecked water pipes everywhere. In most cases it takes more hours before these water pipes are refurbished leading in loss of water that could have helped the people in the right way. People have become used to broken water pipes and others takes advantage of it by deliberately breaking the pipes to get cheap water for molding bricks and other chores.
SRWB, Zomba Mountain Preservation and the inhabitants of Zomba city has a big role to play if these problems are to free at last or they should prepare for the disastrous water crisis in the nearby future.