President Peter Mutharika on Monday said the new water supply system from the Likhubula River in Mulanje to Blantyre would greatly ease the city’s and surrounding areas’ water problems.
Mutharika was speaking in Mulanje Pasani area when he launched the new water supply which is expected to be completed in April 2019.
“This project is part of the bigger plan that government has to develop Malawi by ensuring that there is enough clean water for everyone,”he said.
Mutharika said people of Mulanje would derive a lot of benefits from the project, including the reforestation of Mulanje Mountain, creation of jobs for non skilled labour once actual work commenced, not to talk of water supply which the residents would enjoy come 2019.
The project is worth US$23.5 million (about K16.795 billion) which has been sourced from the Indian government as a loan.
The Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Suresh Memon Kumar, assured Malawi of his government’s support to the project, realizing its importance to improve people’s lives.
“The Indian government has made the funding available in good time for this crucial project for it realizes that this is a major development step for Malawi,” Memon said.
Blantyre Water Board (BWB) Chairperson, James Naphambo, spoke about the work to be done and who would be the core beneficiaries of the project once completed.
According to Naphambo, water will be drawn from the Likhubula River and moved down 50 kilometres in pipes using gravity fed system before it would be treated at a plant at Nguludi in Chiradzulu.
From Nguludi, it will be distributed to parts of Chiradzulu and Thyolo, especially at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) and the rest will go to Blantyre.
“We are expecting to draw at least 20 million litres of water from the Likhubula source on a daily basis and that is plenty water to ease the current water shortage challenge,”Naphambo said.
He said that all the money for the project was in place and that work was anticipated to start by February 1 2017.
Embracing the life changing project, Senior Chief Mkanda called on all stakeholders to work hand in hand with the community so that they would not feel left out.
The Likhubula multimillion water project is one of the major tasks that government intends to carry out in a bid to improve people’s lives.
Mutharika cited water shortage, intermittent electricity supply and food shortage as some of the major challenges his government was working to address.
He also said another water project in the pipeline would see water being pumped from Lake Malawi, passing through Salima, Dowa before reaching Lilongwe.
On power, Mutharika said he would soon launch the Kammwamba Coal Powered plant which is expected to produce at least 300 megawatts to supplement the current electricity supply.
He assured the nation of the likelihood of having uninterrupted power by December this year.
To ensure food security, Mutharika said the government was placing emphasis on irrigation, adding that he would soon be launching the Bwanje Irrigation Dam in Ntcheu, one of many schemes being set up across the country.