Lilongwe Water Board  to host infrastructure investment financing conference

Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) will on  November 14  2019 hold its first Infrastructure Investment Financing Conference which is aimed at raising awareness and interest from international financing institutions and development partners.

Chikuni: The Lilongwe Water Board has seven pillars of
investment which among others include water storage and
infrastructure, water production, transmission, distribution,
sanitation and catchment area management of livelihoods.

This was announced by the Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Alfonso Chikuni during a press conference held at Madzi House in Lilongwe this  week.

According to Chikuni, the conference which will take place at Bingu International Conference Center (BICC) in Lilongwe, has been organized in agreement with the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.

The conference is expected to draw participants from different sectors that include public authorities, targeted personalities engaged in international development cooperation, bilateral partners, multilateral partners, regional or international financial institutions, national and international private investors, sovereign funds, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGO) and other innovative funding.

“The Conference is expected to obtain the commitment of external and local partners to fund the implementation of the LWB Investment Plan (Lilongwe Water Program) which consists of a series of investments summarized in seven pillars,” said Chikuni.

According to the CEO, the pillars include Water Storage Infrastructure; Water Production, Transmission and Distribution; Sanitation; Catchment Management and Livelihoods; Institutional Capacity Strengthening; Design Studies, and other projects- Rehabilitation & Upgrading of Bunda and Malingunde Water Supply System, and Expansion of SCADA System.

“Under these pillars, we are undertaking projects that need a lot of finances, and these include the rehabilitation and raising of KD 1 as well as the construction of Diamphwe Dam,” added Chikuni.

During the presser, the CEO disclosed that the Board is targeting to raise at least US$460 million.

According to Preliminary Report NSO, 2018, the 2019 population for Lilongwe City is 1,000,000, and the population is forecasted to grow to 3.80 million by 2045. The city is faced with increased migration currently at 6% and mushrooming of unplanned areas providing settlement for the urban poor. The Board’s coverage is estimated at 85% of the population with a supply time of 16 hours a day, on average.

Based on the latest studies, current peak water demand is 130,000 m3/day, and this is projected to increase to 172,000 m3/day by 2025 and 255,000 m3/day by 2035.  Existing production capacity for Lilongwe Water Board’s two treatment plants (TW2 and TW2) is only 120,000 m3/day. However, on average, the plants operate at 70 percent capacity, producing an average of about 90,000 m3/day–of which about 32,400 m3/day (36 percent) is unaccounted for.

“The water supply system is, therefore, under strain and the city is facing water shortages which are expected to become severe over the coming years unless major investments and an additional water, are made. In order to close the gap between capacity and demand for water in the short to long term, we have developed an Investment Plan.”

The Infrastructure Investment Financing Conference is one of the efforts the Board is implementing to raise funding for its Investment Plan.

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