“It normally takes years for a district like ours to conduct water quality testing or any other water related assessments. We do not have resources to enable us do our core work. We have to borrow a vehicle from other departments for us to work outside the office,” lamented one District Water Development Officer (DWDO) who opted for anonymity.
WESNetwork secretariat has been conducting WASH assessments needs nationwide at district level. This is part of the advocacy and systems strengthening benchmarks.
“Poor financing at the DWDO’s office” is The commonly sung story in the WASH sector in Malawi .
One of the issues that WESNetwork membership advocated for was increased funding for the sector.
Apparently the 2022/23 national budget has allocated the most highest level of funding in the history of the WASH sector of about MK155 billion exceeding the Ethekwini benchmark of MK97 billion annual allocation for the WASH sector needs in Malawi. https://wesnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-23-UNICEF-Presentation_Health-HIV-and-AIDS-Cluster_Final.pdf
According the the National Water policy, “domestic water must be given the highest attention above all other uses” yet the DWDO offices that are key and has the technicality in ensuring the provision of clean, safe and accessible water for people especially in the rural area lack funding to enable them reach out to the vulnerable population in the rural areas.
As WESNetwork we are recommending reviews and reforms in terms of resource allocation, otherwise misallocation is inevitable.