CEDEP demands cancellation of Lake Malawi water project

Concerned with irregularities dodging the USD500 million water project from Salima to Lilongwe in a bid to end the water woes that have rocked the city and surrounding areas for some time now,  Center for Development of People, (CEDEP) has called for the cancellation of the project.

Trapence: We afre left suspecting

Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) awarded a contract to Khato Civils Pty Ltd and South Zambezi Pty Ltd Joint Venture for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction of Lake Malawi Water Supply for Lilongwe City at a contract amount of K29 billion plus $397 million (K400 billion).

The project is expected to pump 50 million litres of water from Lake Malawi per day to meet the city’s ever growing population.

Despite the fact that it is a requirement under the Environmental Management Act to carry out an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for a water project of this size before conducting such a project, nothing of this sort has happened, violating the Environment Management Act of Laws of Malawi.

In a statement made available to Nyasa Times,  CEDEP said for a project of such magnitude to commence, there needs to be both a pre-feasibility and full feasibility study conducted as well as a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment followed by detailed designs that are then made public.

“All this is supposed to be done by an independent contractor to avoid issues of conflict of interest. Looks like somebody has been pressurizing Water Authorities especially Lilongwe Water Board and Central Region Water Board to proceed with this using short cuts.

“How can government be doing short cuts in projects? What is the hurry? Why should government refuse professionalism? What is behind this contract? This is mediocrity of the highest order.

“Further than this, it is worrisome to note that this project seeks to tap water from Lake Malawi in Salima to Lilongwe and belongs to Lilongwe water board but has been awarded to Khato Civils Limited and yet Lilongwe Water Board does not have sufficient information of the same,” reads part of the statement signed by CEDEP Executive Director Gift Trapence.

The project was awarded after a restricted tendering process in which six companies participated.

Trapence said  government should hire an independent contractor who will do a full feasibility study and an Environmental and Social impact Assessment (ESIA) before the project commences.

“All these must be published and made available to all Malawians. Malawians deserve to know better any projects undertaken for their benefit using the public resources. We also demand government to fully explain the criteria used in selecting the contractors.

“We do not want issues of national importance like this to be done in a secretive and clandestine manner. We have got the right to information as backed by the Access to information laws. Government need to learn to be open on these things and provide details of the project,” he said adding that if government decides otherwise citizens of this country have got a right to seek the interventions of the courts.

Government of Malawi agreed with World Bank to pump water using gravity from Diamphwe River to Lilongwe.

The World Bank project was cheaper costing approximately USD200 million(Two Hundred Million United States Dollars). Feasibility studies were done, communities around were consulted, some were told to prepare to be relocated, according to Cedep.

Several meetings in Dedza, Lilongwe and Salima and many places took place involving different stakeholders costing millions. The next step was government to put in the budget compensation money for Diamphwe people.

Commentators argue that while the idea of improving water supply to Lilongwe City is a noble one, and that it should be expedited, nothing should be done at the expense of making the whole country suffer.

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22 thoughts on “CEDEP demands cancellation of Lake Malawi water project”

  1. Ozzy says:

    I feel this project should go ahead . The benefits far outweigh the harms. Let the govt and the contactor (khato civils) do its job. It’s a big project no doubt but water is a necessity . If we keep waiting for a feasibility study and assessment studies etc …its gonna take ages .

  2. Kaka says:

    CEDEP or whatever you call yourself. where have you been all that long? zopusa basi. Tinamva kale zimene mukunenazo kaya

    We camnot abondon the peoject. we can only rectify errors.

  3. Wangu says:

    A review and more inclusive consultation must be explored. Nothing wrong it’s a very viable project which will bring change to the city of Lilongwe…

  4. mzika says:

    come sunshine or rain this project will commerce and this idiot the so called Trapence will not succeed in his plans. The only advice is just to register your engineering company and try to win such type of contracts may be your jealousy will go away

  5. Zoba says:

    Yerekezani kutenga injunction ndi matcher. Ine ndikuvutika kuno ku Lilongwe kusowa madzi. Kapangeni ku project ya Mulanje zimenezi.

  6. Mayford Kumanzere says:

    Where professionalism fails Mr. Trapence that’s how thing are supposed to be done. These ESIA issues are not meant to cancel Govt. projects as was with the Shire/Zambezi Water way project. Instead of giving out directions on how best it could be accomplished, you environmentalists were busy blocking it. Water is a very important resource to mankind. Staying in the city without water is again an serious environmental and social issue to all residence. What we all know is that where there is DEVELOPMENT there is also DESTRUCTION either with or without ESIA.
    Mr. Trapence, the idea is good but also selfish as you are just trying to divert project funds into your pocket. I stay in Lilongwe and I know hard it is to stay in a city for days without water, to you is this not a social issue? Seriously, how would you advise the Govt. on the same? To a layman like me you can’t convince me anyhow, what I need is sustainable supply of water to this generation and the future. Your ESIA will take ages before submitting a report and I cant wait for so long in this suffering. Thanks Bwana.

  7. Bakayao says:

    The debate on this topic demonstrates the long way many Malawians have to make Malawi be regarded a country of serious people. The point in the discussion is not to make the project fail, but professionals have spoken against the failure to follow rightful procedures in implementation of such scale of projects. There are guidelines and laws already in place to be followed whenever such kind of projects are implemented. What some people are asking is why not following procedures as the guidelines and laws require as regards to implementation of this particular project, whose scale falls under the category of such projects that require mandatory feasibility and EIA studies? Just as simple as that. Those who put those guidelines and laws knew pretty well why such processes are necessary and have been tested and used before. Actually they were put to serve the very same Malawians this project is intended to serve. It is disgusting therefore to see some knowledge handicapped Malawians to be talking in terms of politics and regions when these are purely professional and technical issues. Those studies can not even take long time. Actually what will delay the project is the use of short cuts because whether one likes it or not, this project can never proceed without these studies. The law will certainly be applied. Malawians, the tendency of bending laws to suit certain interests should not be tolerated because that creates an environment for corruption, a thing that has derailed development of this country for long time. With the EIA and feasibility studies reports, the project will commence.Nothing short of that. We are not in somebody’ house to just be doing things as he or she wishes. So, Trapence is right.

  8. koma kumaneko says:

    This govt is regionalistic dont forget they transfered MUST to ndata, took away stadium to south, and now they dont want lilongwe to have reliable water supply.

    Chonsecho mukumanga kuno kulilongwe nyumba zanu osakamanga kwanuko bwanji?

  9. mtete says:

    What is bothering me most is the Simbi-DPP-MCP-Government Circle. Simbi has said he can assist MCP as well as DPP. Well, the Bible teaches us that you cannot serve two masters. Does it not seem strange that DPP can tolerate a contractor sympathetic to an adversary(MCP)?. Why is Goodall Gonndwe so naive as regards financing of the project?Why is the project hot on the heels of World Bank pulling out of the Diampwe Water Project? My suspicion is that the compensation package was deliberately inflated to accommodate Cashgate type of claims. World Bank noticed this and would have nothing of this; hence pulling out. Cashgate Gurus had to find another way of making a quick dollar; Salima Water Project, free of interference by outsiders. However they overlooked so many things in the process; EIA, Feasibility Study and several other requirements befitting such a big Project. In view of this, the project should be put on hold until concerns have been addressed. Mr Threepence is right.

  10. Engineer says:

    A contractor doing feasibility study ? Mr u r showing total ignorance of the issues .

  11. CHIKONDI NAMARIKA says:

    AKULU MALANKHULIDWE ANU AKUSONYEZA KUPANDANZERU

  12. zax says:

    MUMADANA NDICHITUKUKO BWANJI NSANJE AMALAWI

  13. Munyunkali says:

    Nkhanga zaona.

  14. Nyima says:

    This is no sense at its best,are you happy to see Malawi lacking behind in everything.If you are more intelligent than others ,why cant you make efforts and talk to people,who are responsible.You are the same people who has being preaching that this government is failing to provide social amenities like water to its citizens.To day it has made some advances to end this water woes for good ,and you are not seeing its benefits.Ngati akutumani anthu ena osakonda Malawi please tell them kuti na project iyi yokha will not fail.Why everything that will add salt to this government ,you see it as a negative .With people like you ,chidanthis, Malawi will not develop.But change,we are tired with stupid opposition

  15. Shokodido says:

    I think the Mission for CEDEP would have been to develop people’s welfare. It seems it doesn’t have its agenda in place. Where there is mathanyulaism, Trapence is there, Abortion issues he is there, cashgate he is there, striking civil servants, he is there, maize gate he is there, water projects he is there, electricity projects he is there, Bank mmudzi he is there. Why, Why, Why

  16. Mika Kumbire says:

    Kodi anthu omenya aja anapita kuti? Project iyi ilephereka chifukwa cha ma jelous basi.

    1. The project is going to be in the central region many people from the South and North will fight it.
    2. The contractor is from central region and many people from the South and North will block it.
    3. MCP would not want a successful project in the central region during the DPP era; That will be damaging to their political survival.
    4. The Environmental assessment and governance issues are just being used as scapegoats. Other people are distributing maize across the country; who has done an assessment of the negative impact this can have on the market of maize and effect on local producers regarding pricing.

  17. Adina says:

    Nanga project ya Ku Blantyre kupanga tap madzi from phiri LA mulanje, are all these requirements in place? Bwanji mukungolimbana ndi ya ku Lilongwe basis.Zandale zokhazokha.

  18. chitutu phiri says:

    ABWANA AKU CEDEP nthawi zambiri mukayankhula timaziona Ngati za nzeru koma pankhani iyi yokha ya madzi a ku salima mwanama chifukwa ngati Malawi ingatukuke ikufunikira zinthu ziwiri(1) madzi adalirika monga mukuwakanawa(2) magetsi .so abwana aku CEDEP do not comment just for the sake of commenting but look at the benefits that the country and its people will enjoy from this project

  19. Nyau Thing says:

    A Trapence apa mwayankhulapo zanzeru osati zamathanyula zanu zija!

  20. Malawiana says:

    CEDEP, MLS and MHRC, please obtain an injunction NOW!

    1. Sizoona says:

      If you obtain an injunction on this as a citizen of Lilongwe I will also obtain a counter injunction and join hands with Sembereka and Rojas Newa not to halt this important project. Kodi munamufunsapo za feasibility study? Talk of Old Airport – Kasiya Road, Mponela – Ntchisi Road and Mulanje – Blantyre water project. A simuchedwa kuiwala. This issue has been discussed in parliament for years suggesting that we should tap water from the Lake to lilongwe. I remember Khwauli Msisya raising this issue in parliament as an alternative for boreholes. Check betweet Lilongwe Town Hall and Lilongwe River going past city centre all the way to Kanengo, there are huge water pipes meant for the same project. Ee kodi a Malawi tidatani? Chifukwa chakuti ndi MMalawi akupangayu???

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