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National Water Resources Authority (NWRA) warns against illegal water drilling

By Fostina Mkandawire

Salima, Mana: National Water Resources Authority (NWRA) a body mandated to provide for the management, conservation, use and control of water resources, has issued a warning to water drillers plying their trade without a license.

Making a presentation during an engagement with Salima District Council’s Environmental Social Committee, on Monday, NWRA Licensing Manager, Peter Banda emphasized that for one to be a recognized borehole driller they have to acquire rights through obtaining a license.

“Any person wishing to drill, construct, enlarge or alter a borehole shall apply to the NWRA for one to be granted a license they should file an application to the NWRA by use of a prescribed form,” he said.

Banda reiterated that the Water Resource Act of 2013, has given NWRA mandate to issue punishment to organizations and individuals who would contravene the law.

“Any person who contravenes this Act and any other written law shall be guilty of an offence, fines are in the ranges of K 1, 000,000 to K 10, 000,000 and Imprisonments from 4-10 years,” he said.

Banda said no person shall engage in the trade of drilling or construction of boreholes unless the person is licensed as a borehole driller or a constructor in accordance with the provisions of NWRA.

He described district councils as major partners in enforcing their mandates as a regulatory body.

“We have engaged Salima District Council as a way of raising awareness of our mandates and that they should have of knowledge of proper procedures to be followed when one intends to use water commercial purposes,” Banda said.

He said they have developed principles, guidelines and procedures for the allocation of water resources; in addition they receive and determine applications for permits for water use.

“We are now enforcing our monitoring monitor mechanisms and enforcement conditions attached to permits for water use,” he said.

Banda said council officials will be facilitating effluent discharge permit applications and report any suspected pollution of surface water and groundwater in their respective districts

“Councils officials should be notifying NWRA on any water resources related projects taking place in their district,” the manager said.

District Community Development Officer for Salima Bright Chunga, emphasized on the need for massive sensitization on the mandate and duty of NWRA.

He said organizations and individuals are not aware of the authority hence most illegally and offering substandard projects in the district.

“We have so many borehole drillers who we assume are not registered with NWRA, therefore we call for enforcement of the established laws on water resource management systems,” Chunga said.

The NWRA Mission is to regulate and manage water resources for the sustainable, effective and efficient use by all sectors in order to achieve socioeconomic growth and development agenda of the country.

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