Thyolo Increases Water Access to 79 Percent
The recent 2021/2022 Potable and Safe Water Accessibility Index by mWater database, a water, sanitation and health data management tool, shows that in two year, Thyolo district has increased accessibility to 79 percent for its 747,000 population.
According to the database, a tool used to measure distance between water points, availability and functionality of boreholes, in the district, positive strides in water accessibility have been made up to 79 percent.
Despite the strides, a call has gone out to WASH stakeholders to help the remaining 21 percent of the population, currently consuming from unprotected water sources.
Parliamentarian for Thyolo South Constituency, Mavuto Sandram Scott, says for instance, in Group Village Headman Nkhataombere, most people are still drinking from shallow wells and rivers due to the hard terrain that prevents drilling of boreholes.
"The water challenge in my constituency is so huge because almost every Group Village Head is facing the challenge. It’s really huge because of the topography of my constituency, so hilly and difficult to drill boreholes in every part of the constituency. So most of the people in the constituency are getting water from the shallow wells which are not very safe.
"And with the allocation of Water Fund for this financial year, we have decided to have loop wells that will be constructed almost in every Group Village Head so that maybe people can have access to safe and clear water," Scott said.
“I am appealing to well-wishers, NGOs or even other government agencies to come and rescue us because we have very few boreholes,” he said.
Thyolo District Director of Planning and Development (DPD) Morson Magombo, says currently, the District Development Fund (DDF) and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) baskets to drill boreholes, installing piped and low-cost water technologies to bridge the water accessibility gap.
Magombo has, however, called on other WASH partners to come and assist, as currently only United Purpose is implementing the interventions.
"We are still basing on funding we are getting from government through the water structures fund. As a district we are receiving K84 million per year. I think this will still assist in providing safe water in the district although not adequate to the communities.
"But also, United Purpose as a partner is also contributing in the installation of water points in the district because in their Beyond Wash project, they are also constructing boreholes in the district,” he said.
He added:" But apart from that, I think under Constituency Development Fund, most of the MPs have geared on providing more water points in the district through construction of boreholes and pump installation".
In its five-year District Development Plan, Thyolo district council projected to increase portable water accessibility by 85 percent from 77 come 2022.