Karonga residents and NRWB tussles over Paladin Water Plant

Disagreement has erupted between Karonga residents and Northern Region Water Board (NRWD) over the “impromptu” decision to relocate the multi-billion kwacha Garnet Halliday Water Plant that was initiated by Paladin Africa Limited in 2010 in the district.

Karonga Water Supply

The ultra-modern water supply plant, which has been idle since 2015 due to its high operational and maintenance costs, was part of Paladin’s corporate social responsibility in the district.

NRWB with support from senior traditional leaders in the district decided to uproot the plant and relocate it to Karonga Museum as the region water provider is in process of constructing its new water plant on the same area.

The development angered the residents who suspect that NRWB wants to take the Water Plant to its headquarters, Mzuzu.

Despite the cries, NRWB, with a support form a group of senior traditional leaders, signed an agreement to relocate the plant to Karonga Museum.

The development angered the residents, who agreed to go to the street last week, but opted for a dialogue after the District Commissioner (DC) Paul Kalilombe approached them.

Chairperson for the irate residents, Tension Mvula, said NRWB must find another area to construct its new water plant than relocating the old one.

In his remarks, Chairperson for Karonga-Chitipa Heritage, Mr Mwambira, while protesting the decision promised to summon NRWB to explain who it consulted before the decision.

While vehemently denying rumours that the board wants to take the old Water Plant to Mzuzu, NRWB public relations officer, Edward Nyirenda said they consulted the chiefs and Karonga distric council over the decision.

Nyirenda told Nyasa Times that his organization has no plan to take the plant to Mzuzu as speculated but they want to construct a new Water Plant that will increase their catchment area in the district.

Paramount Chief Kyungu, who led the traditional leaders to accept the development, was not picking up his mobile phone when contacted.

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