Feasibility study not done for Lake Malawi water project   – Lilongwe Water Board confirms

There has been no feasibility study yet  for the  construction of water pipeline from Salima to Lilongwe to tap water from Lake Malawi, Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) who owns the contract has confirmed.

Chikuni: No harm

LWB chief executive officer (CEO) Alfonso Chikuni said they agreed with the contractor Khato Holdings that the feasibility study should be undertaken after the contractof the  high-profile $500 million (K400 billion) project has already been entered into.

“No environmental impact assessment (EIA) wad done because that would mean a lot of time could be spent on the study,” said Chikuni.

He said they need the project “very badly” hence focusing on the contract.

Chikuni said they will hire experts to conduct a first feasibility study.

He, nonetheless, said a preliminary assessment found that there will be no harm in tapping water from Lake Malawi from Salima to Lilongwe.

The development comes after the Malawi Law Society (MLS) has asked the Department of Environmental Affairs to furnish it with a report of the EIA on the project in line with the laws.

Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is implementing the project to pump water from Lake Malawi to Lilongwe City through a pipe line stretching over 130 kilometres from the lakeshore district of Salima.

Accoridng to Law Society president Khumbo Soko: “If the provisions of the Act have so far not been complied with, it will be illegal to proceed to the implementation stage of this Project.”

The society has further asked that the requirement of an EIA are satisfied before the project’s implementation begins.

MLS further says under Section 25 (3) of the Act, the report is supposed to be open

The project is under fire from several fronts and questions have been raised at how Khato Civils Ltd and Zambezi Pty Ltd was contracted to carry it out.

The government guaranteed a $500 million loan to LWB  for the project.


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21 thoughts on “Feasibility study not done for Lake Malawi water project   – Lilongwe Water Board confirms”

  1. Mpele Wa Poly Alumni says:

    Just a small background. Alfonso stole a 270lr deep freezer from Polytechnic tuckshop early 90’s when he was a Civil Engineering student.

  2. ine zisandikhudze

  3. Chi says:

    We ll do environmental Audit. Chinsapo Secondary School was constructed without EIA, EA was done later. Sipaja ana akuphunzirapo. Issue of environmental impact assessment I see that its not big deal. Let the project proceed. We r tired of water shortages. It sucks big time. Lets take the big risk. Zikadzalephera basi. But am very optimisitc zidzayenda

  4. Mayo Ine says:

    I need answers to the following basic questions

    We know the contractor but

    1. Who is the borrower?
    2.Who is the lender?
    3. Did Malawi Government guarantee the lender or the borrower?
    4. And LWB what is your role in all this?
    5. And the Attorney general’s office, was it also bypassed this time ?
    6. Who signed on behalf of Government- Minister of Finance or Secretary to theTreasury
    7. And the Diamphwe dam- what are the true reasons why World Bank/AFdB pulled out?
    8. If that dam was to costing 25 million dollars or Euros, was it diffciult, for Government to find
    another lender, to lend us 25 million. And that takes us back to the second question- who is
    the lender?
    9. Who advised who on this big financial transaction?
    10. The foreign reserves of the country for the past 10 years, have been roughly around US $500
    million- and somebody decided to commit Government to this transaction

    Journalists help me to get answers to those questions. I am not looking for a feasibility
    study or an EIA report. I desire answers

  5. Yahya Jammeh says:

    Bambo Alfonso Chikuni mukufuna kuchitawu ndi umbawa onga wa bambo Chaponda who rushed to make arrangements for the purchase of maize in Zambia by ignoring procurement procedures. They say “first thing first.” As someone said on this forum, you cannot build a house without a foundation and make foundation later. Do you expect that house to be build anyway, what if it falls? Chaponda did, rush to make a deal to purchase maize by disguising that there was great need because there was no maize in Malawi when in actual fact there was enough maize in the country. He only did that to steal our money. I can see that you are doing exactly the same thing. We have not forgotten that you are the one who donated huge amount of money to the Blue Night when you were approached to do so and yet you knew you needed that same money to improve the water supply system at LWB. Whether you like or not, you must engage a consultant to conduct a feasibility study before the project begins period, otherwise we shall get a court injunction to to stop your dirty tricks to avoid a repeat of Chaponda maize scandal. Ngati mwalephera kuyendetsa LWB tulani pansi udindo anzanu odziwa ayendetse.I will rule Gambia for a billion years.

  6. Bingu Chimodzimodzi Peter says:

    Ma politician amu Malawi amayambira dala ma project ndicholinga chokuba.The need to do an Environmental Impact Assessment in this country is a straight forward issue.Malamulo alipo ndithu. Zonse zofunikira ndizolembalemba. Is it not one of the reasons why the Nsanje Inland Port failed. Kodi a Malawi tizasintha liti kuganiza ndikuchita zinthu mwauchitsilu.

  7. Peter phiri says:

    where is John Kapito?

  8. John Banda says:

    This is why democracy is at times a problem. We stay weeks without water, now a solution is found you want to debate it over and over until you analyse and paralyse. Come on let’s allow this project to kick off. Everything else later. Water is life. Let’s have life now!!

  9. Peter phiri says:

    what the CEO of Lilongwe Water Board is saying is not making sense. How can he enter into a Contract before conducting a feasibility study? Heavenly Father, have Mercy on us.

  10. ChangingFaces says:

    Inu, anzathu!!!
    A feasibility was already done by some Israelis during JBs reign. This project is entirely SAFE and will not lead to any environmental damage. The biggest hurdle, though, is the sheer amount of power required to push the 50m litres/day up those Mvera/Chezi Hills, up to LL. You’d need a power plant dedicated to this exercise (running 24/7).

    If sources of power can be guaranteed, well, why not? Go ahead!! Simbi himself is READY to unleash his MAGIC!! He is excited about it too.

    Also, note that Kasungu, Mponela and Salima are growing very rapidly as well; so it would be wise to link those potential cities to the proposed SA-LL water grid.
    The MLS should not rush to attempt some flimsy legal challenges in this matter. This is an engineering problem for engineers to solve. No need for more EISs.

    1. Peter phiri says:

      How come the CEO of Lilongwe Water Board does not know about this Feasibility study done by the Israelis? How come the Department of Environmental Affairs is also in the dark? Who engaged the Israeli’s? Too many an unanswered questions.

      We should petition the State President to put a stop to this sinking nonsense.

      Enough is enough.

  11. Kandapako says:

    A new tarmac road from scratch costs roughly $1 million per kilometre. $500 million would construct 500 km of tarmac roads. How can a water pipe, even with all related works like intake station and booster pumps along the way, cost $3.8 million per km? Incidentally what is happening to the other much touted supply from Diamphwi river? Government and Lilongwe Water Board please be serious about your plans.

  12. C Banda says:

    In general, the media is not doing a good job in reporting on this project. Information is coming to us in dribs and drabs, from different sources.

    Here we learn that no feasibility study has been done. That is indeed shocking for a huge, USD500 million project.

    Where will LWB get USD500 million, which is more than the forex needed by the whole country for one month? Elsewhere, it is reported that the contractor itself will raise the funds, which presumably LWB will have to pay back in forex over a period of time. How will they mange to do that?

    It is said that GoM will guarantee the USD500 million. Does anyone really believe that LWB will be able to service the loan from its revenue?

    This whole project sounds very dodgy, and looks like something set up merely to enrich certain greedy individuals.

  13. Likongwe Ligomeka says:

    Very strange indeed:

    – SOMEONE SAYING HOUSE IS RUNNING DRY ( not burning this time )?????
    – World Bank withdrawing from Diamphwe Dam Project so we need to do something quickly??? DUBIOUSLY???????

    Our professionals who seem not to see the importance of Feasibility Studies in very important projects like Salima Water project.

    We, as Malawians need to dig deeper here.

  14. Tadala says:

    Cry my beloved Malawi. With the Lake drying to the extent of failing to supply us with enough electricity, this project is another demon to Malawi. You don’t start a project by implementing it and then assess its impact. Have we started building houses without foundations and then check how they will stand once we finish in Malawi? The impact of this project is not only along the pipeline but even down the Shire river where we have the sole electricity generation. The problem is LWB and ESCOM are both parastatals hence one cannot stop the other but let Malawians lick the wounds created within the government circles. With the way we are currently suffering with blackouts, this project needs to be thought twice hence rushing it without EIA is very surprising.

  15. Cry for My Beloved Malawi says:

    All I can say is that the “Lord should have mercy on Malawi” but what I am not sure about is “for how long? Straight forward things are always diverted, twisted and high profile officials are not even ashamed to justify their unjustifiable facts to their fellow educated citizens!

    Go back to your books and study when and why EIA’s are done. If you already know, then you have “special interest” in the project!

  16. Chaponda says:

    Apo pali Kuba .check the contractor $500 million more than tared roads

  17. Ha zina ukaona! says:

    Anthu ku Lilongweko mumalira mumafuna madzi. lero mwayamba mfwimfwi. Ufiti basi.

  18. Naphiri says:

    do we want another white elephant like the nsanje port that is lying idle? i believe first things first… why dont we learn from past mistakes?

    1. Onaphiri says:

      Exactly my point.

  19. Achimidzimidzi says:

    LWB board should take responsibility and give us answers.

    As a nation,let us avoid what had happened at ADMARC

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