President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) to appreciate challenges hampering the utility body to improve the water situation for residents in Blantyre and surrounding areas.
Blantyre residents and surrounding communities have endured intermittent water supply as BWB frequently shut down its system to ably complete the installation of new water pumping machines at the main water intake, Walkers Ferry.
The development has seen most residents scrambling for water at unsafe sources.
As such, Mutharika said he was “extremely humbled” by the understanding and patience that the Blantyre residents have demonstrated in the face of extreme water challenges.
He also expressed concerned with the state of equipment and deforestation around Mudi dam catchment area.
BWB management also took trouble to update him on progress it has made to improve infrastructure mainly at the main pumping site
“I am particularly excited and supportive of the Likhubula Water Supply System project the board is planning to undertake.
“During my visit to India later this month, my government will conclude the deal to secure about K14 billion for the project where an additional 20,000 cubic metres of water will be produced and significantly reduce the water deficit in the city,” said Mutharika.
He said his government will support the Board’s long term plans to develop a new water source on the River Shire in order to meet the 2040 projected demand of 230,000 cubic metres of treated water.
“We have also approved reforms in Water Boards across the country which among other things will allow them to generate their own power which will help them save up to K1 billion every 4 months in electricity bills.
He also said he dream is to see water boards generating their own electricity for pumping water instead of just depending on the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), which is not reliable with power supply and this affect pumping and distribution of water to households and industries.
Mutharika is expected conclude the deal with the Indian government at the Indian-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) later this month.
Government is trying to secure the funds for Blantyre Water Board’s project that will see the pumping of water from Mulanje Mountain and Lake Malawi to supply to the commercial city and surrounding communities.
It was also noted that BWB will start production of bottled water for their financial sustainability.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :