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NWRA Warns Against Unregistered Water Points

Neno DEC members posing for a group photo Neno DEC members posing for a group photo - pic by Steve Kalungwe

The National Water Resources Authority has warned companies, non-governmental organizations and individuals against construction of water points without licence from the Authority.

The Authority's public relations officer Masozi Kasambara sounded the warning in Neno on Wednesday saying councils should only permit drillers who are certified by the Authority arguing that failure to abide by this is punishable by the law.

"We are here in Neno on a national wide tour of all the 35 councils to spread the mandate and functions of our body and we are also here to reemphasize the need for the country to understand that it is illegal to own water points such as boreholes without permit from the Authority," said Kasambara.

But the out-going Neno District Commissioner Hudson Kuphanga asked the Authority to consider a waiver for people living in hard to reach areas where access to potable water is a challenge.

He cited Neno district where most of its people depend on borehole water and shallow Wells hence asking for a consideration.

In response, Kasambara said that in such a scenario, their body is also mandated to provide the waiver but only after conducting a research to determine if the waiver will be valid or not.

The tours according to Kasambara are also meant to enhance coordination between the Authority and councils saying councils are key partners in water development hence partnering with them to ensure adherence to the set standards of water management.

The Authority has also set November 24, 2023, as the dateline for all individuals, companies and non-governmental organizations to have their water points such as boreholes registered by the Authority.

Kasambara ephasized that failure to abide by the law, penalties of one million to 10 million kwacha shall be imposed with a possibility of jail term as their body has prosecuting powers.

He said that " We want all water points registered so that we are able to determine if such water points should still exist or closed so that people are only drinking or using water that is safe and of quality standard".

Neno District Water Officer Richard Mkandawire welcomed the idea of having all boreholes registered saying the move will promote access to potable water saying some boreholes and water points are constructed illegally hence obstructing council plans when designating water points.

Neno district council is implementing a gravity fed water system from Chakulembera in the area of Senior Chief Dambe which will run up to Kambale trading centre all the way to Luwani and Zalewa.

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