Malawi: Results of Area 18A Water Contamination Inquiry Out

Lilongwe — Results of the inquiry into the Area 18A water contamination incident that occurred in July, 2017 have been released and handed over to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) in Lilongwe.
Chief Secretary to OPC, Lloyd Muhara, received the report from the task force chairperson, Rexie Chiluzi at Capital Hill in Lilongwe on Monday on behalf of His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.
The sad incident also prompted the country’s president, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to institute a taskforce to find out what had caused the water contamination in the township.
"The taskforce found out and confirmed that water was indeed contaminated with sewage on 18th July, 2017.
The source of sewage was a blocked sewer line that resulted in overflowing manhole," reads part of the report which was made available to the media.
"The flowing sewage infiltrated into the LWB’s burst pipe due to the sewage pool along the roadside drain as a result of low or no pressure in the water pipe," the report further reads.
However, the results of the tests showed negative of E.Coli, meaning the water was fit for human consumption.
"This, therefore, meant that the water was fit for human consumption," says the report and adds that further water tests conducted by Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) and Malawi Environmental Health Association also showed the water was negative of E.Coli, meaning it was fit for human consumption.
"There is need for government, through independent institutions, to make public announcements about the safety of water in Area 18 A in order to regain confidence since the affected people are still skeptical as to whether water being supplied to the area is safe for human consumption," the report further advises.
In the final assessment of affected households made by different institutions, LWB came up with 83, while the legal counsel representing the affected people found that 269 households were affected while Malawi Human Rights Commission estimated that 150 households were affected by the incident.

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