Controversy surrounds borehole registration exercise, as communities decry economic challenges

Written by Dyson Kamwana:

Malawians are expressing growing concerns over the National Water Resources Authority (NWRA) directive, requiring borehole owners in the country to register their boreholes by November 24th, 2023, or risk closure, as many community members grapple with economic challenges.

One of the concerned individuals, Senior Group Village Head (GVH) Ngoma of Senior Chief Malengachanzi in Nkhotakota district strongly opposes the move, citing the current economic situation that makes it challenging to collect money from villagers.

GHV Ngoma suggests that the government should play a role in funding the registration of community boreholes, since the economic hardships faced by communities make it difficult for them to contribute to the registration process.

“It is hard to mobilize money from community members considering the current economic challenges they are going through. Households are failing to afford maize which is now scarce and expensive. How are they going to source money for the borehole registration?” lamented GVH Ngoma.

However, National Water Resources Authority Spokesperson Masozi Kasambara said the authority will close down all unregistered boreholes by November 24th, 2023, and individuals must ensure that their boreholes are registered at a fee of k90, 000.

Kasambara adds that community members must contribute and pay for the registration of the boreholes, a situation he says will assist the institution to have records of boreholes and areas that need to be assisted with clean and safe water.

“If the borehole belongs to the community and has multiple beneficiaries, it means that they will contribute a penny to afford the k90, 000 registration fee. It can be unreasonable that the entire community is not able to raise that amount,” said Kasambara.

Despite the concerns from some quarters of the country, the authority says it is receiving overwhelming response from individuals and companies owning boreholes who are flocking to the institution for registration.

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