By Vincent Gunde
The National Water Resources Authority (NWRA) says it is mandated to regulate and manage water resources for the sustainable, effective and efficient use of all sectors in order to achieve socioeconomic growth and development agenda of the country.
The NWRA with a vision of sustainable water resources for all has its mission of seeing that any person wishing to abstract and use water should apply to the Authority through use of a prescribed form giving an example of Boreholes should not be drilled without license from the Authority.
The Authority has powers to develop principles and guidelines and procedures for the location of water resources and to monitor and enforce conditions attached to permits of water use.
Briefing the District Executive Committee (DEC) in Dowa on the functions and mandate of the NWRA at a meeting held at the Boma, the Authority’s Senior Civic Education and Public Relations Officer Masozi Kasambala, said the Authority is mandated to manage and regulate water resources to ensure that the laws are being followed whenever people are involved themselves in anything concerning water resources.
Kasambala reminded the council of its responsibility that it has a big duty to ensure that all water related development coming to the district must not be undertaken before approved and monitored by the Authority.
He 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 contractor with a warning that failure to comply with the Act, a person shall be guilty of an offense payable by fees in the ranges of K1 million to K10 million and imprisonment of 4 to 10 years.
The Officer said there are benefits of obtaining license from the Authority saying license holders are protected during periods of water shortage or crisis, given priority when processing new applications and license is guaranteed through Certificate of Easement.
He said the NWRA expects the Council’s District Water office, District Irrigation office and District Fisheries office to provide data of all Water User Associations (WUA), Irrigation WUA’s and Groups, and fishpond owners with the council official to report any suspected pollution of surface water and ground water in their respective districts.
Said Kasambala:“Council officials will be notifying the NWRA of any project taking place in the district and engaging only registered Borehole drillers and contractors in Borehole drilling projects and facilitate application of the same.”
In his remarks, Dowa District Council’s Acting Chief Planning Officer Yusuf Laki, assured the NWRA that the council will comply to the directive to make sure that all the Boreholes drilled in the district by the council and partners are meeting the required standards as set by the NWRA before the due date which is November 24, 2023.
“What remains now is to get the list of all boreholes drilled to be assessed by the NWRA on whether they should continue to serve the communities or not and sensitizing community structures through Area and Village Development Committees to see to it that Borehole owners have declared to the Authority,” he said.