By Faith Mwafulirwa
The minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo says there is more that all stakeholders in the water sector can do in order to change the current water situation in this country.
The minister was speaking when she toured Blantyre City Council waste treatment plants as well as Chirimba River to see how the river has been polluted.
This follows a documentary on Mibawa Television which shows the appalling situation of Chirimba industrial area and the situation that people in the surrounding community are facing due to the broken down treatment plant.
“It is worrying to note that people living along Chirimba Industrial area and those communities downstream Chirimba River are adversely affected due to non-functional waste treatment plant, the situation is said to have resulted in industries discharging effluent into the broken down plant which discharges into Chirimba River endangering human health and the environment”, the minister said.
She added that despite having many challenges, as Blantyre city council has a responsibility to ensure that waste water treatment plants are always functional in order to safeguard the public.
Blantyre City Council Chemist Flavious Kamwani explained that despite the many challenges the council is facing, they are doing their best to solve some of the problems as far as waste management is concerned.
“It should be noted that management of waste requires large capital investment, failure to address the challenges that is when you see ill dumping of waste by individuals and industries resulting in chemicals flowing in the river in the long run reducing the quality of water in the city,” he said.
Among the many challenges Blantyre City Council is facing are high operational costs, maintenance of machines, frequent sewer line blockages , multiple land ownership and small penalties in regulating governing local authorities.