National Water Resource Authority (NWRA) has disclosed that Zamm Investments does not have a permit to drill and abstract groundwater, effectively meaning that the company has been operating illegally in Malawi.
The revelation should be a cause for worry for Malawians who have been consuming its water for years without the knowledge of its legal status in the country.
Recently, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) released a report in which it found Zamm Investments guilty of selling contaminated Cool Drop Natural Mineral water.
The Commission recommended that NWRA and the Ministry of Water and Sanitation should conduct a due diligence on water abstraction and proximity between the source of water like well, borehole and the waste disposal tanks at production facility for ZAMM Investments.
However, in a turn of events, NRWA has discovered that the company has been operating illegally.
NWRA public relations officer Masozi Kasambala told one of the local media houses – The Atlas Malawi – in Malawi that the Authority has advised ZAMM Investment to apply for the permit.
“The advisory note by the Commission fully coincides with current nationwide inspections of Water Abstraction Points, where the checklist includes distance from the source of contamination to the Abstraction points.
“Our team of inspectors accompanied by lab technicians have been on the ground in a quest to get to the bottom of the matter. Once water quality test results plus other inspection targets are ready, they will be shared with the public and depending on the results, the Authority will make its position known.
“Authority has always been alert to matters of water resources management and regulation. The fact that the ZAMM Investments matter has seen a different stakeholder being a whistle blower must not be misconstrued to suggest the opposite. These institutions normally work in partnership with each other basing on the issue at hand,” he said.
For the period the institution has been operating illegally, Kasambara said the decision will be made after all assessments are exhausted as their inspectors are still on the ground.
“The assessment that is being undertaken is considering all these aspects. It must be noted that there are other regulators that are handling that. Once all these assessments are exhausted, the way forward shall be communicated,” he said.