Vandalism upsets Pacific water projects

By Bester Kayaye

Continued acts of vandalism have affected thousands of beneficiaries of safe
ground water supplies provided through Pacific Limited’s borehole
rehabilitation projects under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
programme.
According to Faizal Aboo, Founder of Pacific Limited, damage and theft of
borehole equipment across the country is frustrating the company’s CSR
efforts despite futile attempts to replace and rehabilitate destroyed kits.
Pacific Limited embarked on the borehole rehabilitation programme in
response to urgent calls from poor communities without access to safe water,
who had to walk long distance to access portable water.
So far, the company has rehabilitated around 6,000 boreholes across the
country.
“We are very concerned about vandalism of community boreholes,” he said
urging communities to establish community policing fora to prevent future
vandalism.
“I call on chiefs to be in the forefront in creating security committees of at least
six people in every area where there is a borehole. These people can also be
made responsible for the maintenance of the boreholes after being trained,” he
said.
Aboo was happy to notice that the company’s awareness footprint has paid
out visible dividends.
“Each household reached has saved at least one hour of water searching a
day, a development which redirects approximately a trillion accumulated hours
to national productivity,” he stressed adding: “That will definitely improve lives
and income for all.”
Aboo further commended some Members of Parliament (MPs) who have rendered
support towards the programme and have also spoken against vandalism.
The MPs who have denounced the malpractice include legislature for
Phalombe North Constituency Malume Bokosi who has appealed to
Malawians to refrain from vandalizing public infrastructure including boreholes
fearing social and economic challenges people will encounter from the act.
Bokosi said: “It is sad that some ill-minded people are stealing parts of boreholes that have been drilled or rehabilitated. This is affecting a number of
development activities in our areas as water is life.”
He gave an assurance that he will keep engaging community leaders to be at the forefront guarding boreholes.
Handson Mambulasa, the Area Development Committee – ADC Chairperson,
said the Pacific project is a timely intervention which will help reduce cases of
waterborne diseases contracted after using unsafe water sources.
The majority of Malawians living in rural areas, rely on surface water as their
water source, leaving them prone to water-related illnesses and diseases.
Inadequate access to clean drinking water in the country has motivated the
sinking of boreholes to complement the unreliable piped water, which is accessed by just a fraction of Malawians.
According to the USAID Fact Sheet, approximately 4-million people still lack
access to safe water in Malawi. Likewise, 10 million people lack access to
adequate sanitation of which clean water is essential for a healthy population.

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