Government has assured the nation that it is committed to meeting the international targets of halving the proportion of people without access to safe and clean water and improved sanitation by the year 2015 and the national targets of universal access by 2025.
The remarks were made by the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr Allan Chiyembekeza during the launching ceremony of the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Infrastructure for Improved Health and Livelihoods Project in Phalombe.
He described this project as of highest magnitude which underlines the Government’s commitment in improving the Water Supply and Sanitation situation in the country.
Chiyemebekeza said the project will be implemented in a participatory and demand responsive manner, with the respective District Councils being in the forefront and responsible for the ground implementation of the Project.
“I therefore urge the District Councils to be as transparent and accountable as possible in the decision making for the project to ensure that the project reaches the neediest and deserving of beneficiaries,” he said.
Chiyembekeza said his ministry through the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Infrastructure for Improved Health and Livelihoods (SRWIHL) Project will seek to increase the resilience of water supply systems through their rehabilitation and expansion and to also address sanitation and hygiene challenges.
The minister said the Project will also support the empowerment of district councils and rural communities with particular emphasis on women and youth, monitoring and evaluation, and on enhancing sector reforms for governance and accountability of service delivery.
“The project will also address the prevention of malaria, a deadly disease for many rural communities that makes them unproductive for extended periods,” said Chiyembekeza.
Under the Water Infrastructure Development the Project aims at Rehabilitating 12 Gravity Fed Schemes, Construction of 450 Boreholes in areas where these Gravity Fed Schemes will not reach, Catchment Management, Rehabilitation of Water Quality Laboratories among other activities.
Under the Sanitation and Hygiene Component the Project will Promote and Educate on Hygiene in Water and Sanitation, Construction of 166 Sanitation Facilities in public institutions such as schools and health centres.
The last component will aim at building the capacity of the District Councils, Extension Worker Teams and Water User Associations to implement and manage their Water Supply and Sanitation Initiatives. The Project will also construct District Water Offices and Staff Houses.
The project is to be financed through the African Development Fund (Loan), Nigerian Trust Fund (Loan), Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Trust Fund (Grant) and the Government of Malawi (GoM), is estimated to cost 39.4 million United States Dollars which is around 19.6 Billion Malawi Kwacha. The Project will be implemented over a period of 5 years up to the year 2019.
This project represents a continuation of a program which received the African Development Bank Group’s and other Development Partners (DPs) support which closed on 31st December, 2013.
The project will comprise three components namely; Water Infrastructure Development; Sanitation and Hygiene; and Capacity Development and Project Management.
The African Development Bank Group Resident Representative to Malawi, Andrew Mwaba said they are assured that the new targets set for water and sanitation under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be achieved.
He said the project implementation is part of project cycle activities that have to be accomplished within an agreed time frame and that delays in project implementation are costly to the Government and to the beneficiaries.
Mwaba said delays in project implementation should therefore be avoided.
He also said the Bank is confident that the implementation of this project will be successful based on the achievements and lessons learnt from the implementation of National Water Development Programme and the Integrated Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project in Ntchisi and Mzimba districts as well as other similar projects supported by donors in other districts of the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :