By Brenda Sanudi – Mana
Mchinji District Council has commended Beyond Water for its ‘Professionalized Repair and Maintenance’ (R&M) project to improve water sanitation in the district.
District Water Development Officer, Mike Chilim’madzi hailed the initiative which was in line with Sustainable Development Goal number six (SDG 6) in ensuring that people have access to clean water and sanitation facilities.
He was speaking at Mkanda Trading Centre in the area of Senior Chief Mkanda during a mass awareness campaign on ‘Professionalized Repair and Maintenance’ project.
“The current tradition is that, once a borehole breaks down, the community committee contributes some money for the repair of the borehole, but this time, the committee will make an annual contribution of K 80, 000.
“The money will be paid to Beyond Water for purchase of spare parts and allowance for the area mechanics, a development which will ensure that communities have functional water points all the time,” Chilim’madzi said
He added that the agreement with Beyond Water would ensure that problems of abuse of funds by committee members are minimized and ensure that water is available at all cost as Beyond Water would be responsible for procurement of spare parts and payment of repair fees to the area mechanics.
Beyond Water Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (M&E), Henderson Kadam’manja said the purpose of the project was to increase and sustain the functionality of the community water points.
“Research is showing that there are high levels of none functionality of water points in the communities because the approach which is being used has proven unsustainable. So this new approach will help improve sustainability of the water points as we take over the management of the water points,” he said.
Senior Chief Mkanda said the project would change lives since the project provides an assurance of repair and fixing of broken water points.
“I am very happy as we are talking of clean and potable water. This project is reminding people the importance of having clean and safe drinking water to deal with water born infections. We will use Village Development Committees (VDCs) to help people have a deeper understanding of the project since it is a new approach,” he said.
In the arrangement, water committees will be expected to pay K80, 000 annually where K65,000 will carter for spare parts and K 15,000 for area mechanics who will be monitoring the water points quarterly, four times a year as well as reporting and fixing breakages within three days when a water point breaks down.
Beyond water is implementing the ‘Professionalized Repair and Maintenance’ project in Kasungu, Dowa and Mchinji districts. In Mchinji the project will be implemented in Traditional authorities Zulu and Mkanda.