Likoma And Chizumulu Islanders To Smile for Potable Water
Likoma and Chizumulu residents can now afford a smile following a 20% reduction of utility and new connection fee for water supply after Likoma district council signed a one-year renewable contract of K10 million borehole fund to subsidize utility bills of over 2000 customers and boost the operations of the Water Users Associations (WUAs) on both Islands.
The district council has committed MK 6million to Likoma WUA and K4 million to Chizumulu WUA, from the government's Borehole Fund project which was introduced to address water challenges in all 193 constituencies across the Country.
Initially, the Borehole fund was meant to sink boreholes to mitigate the challenges of portable and clean water but due to the geographical position of Likoma and Chizumulu Islands it has been difficult to implement the borehole project as most areas are too rocky and Sandy.
The Council has since sealed an agreement with the two Water associations to help them procure materials, connect new customers and revamp communal water points so that there is improved access to the potable water supply to the Island.
Scheme Managers for LIWUA and CWUA, Jonathan Mkuyamba, and Sekile Longwe told Zodiak online on Friday that the Associations had a backlog of Customers which they failed to connect due to financial challenges that affected procurement of materials owing to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"However, we are happy to receive Materials from Council Borehole Fund and this means a number of new customers will now be connected with a reduced fee of MK55, 100 from MK60, 100.
"This will see over 70 new customers being connected from next week. But aside from this, in general, the fund will also help customers pay less on tariffs, from MK500 per cubic meter to MK400 per cubic meter for individual customers and MK500 to MK300 per cubic meter for communal water points for a period of one year pending renewal as per the agreement with the Council," said Mkuyamba
Likoma District Council Chairperson Ernest Gulu said he is happy that finally, the Full Council's resolutions have come to fruition, the Funds will now be used to support the two water facilities in their day-to-day water supply drive in both Islands.
Gulu said he believes that "the community will have access to clean and potable water and enjoy the fair bills at a subsidized charge" in line with the MOU's terms of reference with one being reducing tariffs for all connections.
"I also strongly believe that there will be high demand for new connections which is a positive sign of development and growth of the district. The donation came in at the right time whereby these institutions are financially handicapped.
"Furthermore, I would also like to send a clear message that all officers responsible for procurement should respect and abide by the guidelines as these are public funds meant to develop the community," warned Gulu.
Likoma and Chizumulu WUAs have about 1,472 and 450 backlogs of customers respectively totaling to over 1,900.
Likoma and Chizumulu residents were first introduced to clean and portable water on 20 June 2010 after hundreds of decades of consuming lake water deemed unsafe which was characterized by the frequent spread of waterborne diseases such as Cholera and diarrhea