The works and human settlement minister attributed poor management as one contributing factor for water shortages in the country during the National Assembly’s question-hour session yesterday.
The minister is right. While some of our sources have abundant water, leakage in the distribution system is leading to around 30 percent of our water being wasted.
With some of our neighbourhoods in the thromdes not receiving water for hours, sometimes even days, there is a need for water distribution systems to come under stricter regulation.
For instance, in some, if not all our thromdes, it is a common sight to see water tanks overflowing. It should be made mandatory for all water tanks to be equipped with floating valves so that flow is regulated and tanks do not overflow.
When some families have to go without enough water for a day or more, to see some water tanks overflowing can be a cause of anger and frustration. Penalties should be levied on those who do not regulate their water consumption. However, awareness should also be raised on the benefits of floating valves such as lower water bills.
Leaking pipes in the distribution system must also be repaired by the thromde or if owned privately, by the owner immediately.
There is also a need to ensure pipes are placed in areas that are not prone to damage, like the sides of roads, where they can be repetitively hit by vehicles. There must be regulations or guidelines on how the water distribution system is placed. We cannot afford to have a random plan.
Today we see some pipes hung on poles which indicates the need for a more permanent system using permanent culverts, channels or aqueducts.
At homes, there is a need for more education on water conversation. All of us can play our parts in conserving water in the kitchen or the bathroom.
We can choose to use water judiciously. We can install more efficient flushing systems, taps, and shower heads. Certain habits can be eliminated like not turning off the tap while brushing teeth.
Small measures combined can have a large impact.
Our thromdes will continue to grow and the pressure on our water distribution systems will increase. It makes sense that we plan now and have in a place an efficient system now, rather than later.