LWB pledges better water services once World Bank sponsored project is completed

Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has pledged that it will soon be able to meet the high demand for water supply in the Capital City once the World Bank-sponsored Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project (LWSP) is completed.

The LWB project

The Capital City has a population of over 1.2 million people and the LWB  currently serves about 85% of that population because it uses old system.

Speaking when the board organised media tour on Wednesday, assistant public relations officer, Maurice Nkawihe said Malawi Government has secured financing from the World Bank/IDA for thE LWSP — which is being implemented by LWB and Lilongwe City Council.

The five-year LWSP, which commenced on 26thMarch, 2018, is expected to be concluded by June 30, 2023 and is expected to benefit about 500,000 more residents in Lilongwe City and surrounding areas.

Specifically, the project scope includes extensive interventions in the water distribution network to help eliminate hydraulic bottlenecks and to improve network operation.

It is also expected to reduce water losses from the current level of 36% to 26%.

“This would in turn result in improved quality of services (hours of service and pressure) for about 250,000 people that currently receive intermittent services, without necessarily increasing the volume of water produced,” Mkawihe said.

He added that the improvement of the distribution network will include the upgrading of 170km of existing distribution network and expansion of the distribution network by about 230km to areas of the city that are currently not being served by piped water.

Water transmission network will also be rehabilitated to include construction of 23km of transmission mains and associated upgrades to existing pumping stations and construction of additional storage reservoirs.

Mkawihe said sanitation improvements will include rehabilitating and expanding the sewerage network that targets about 250,000 people from poor and vulnerable households.

The project scope consists of four components — water distribution network rehabilitation (expansion and non-revenue water reduction), sanitation improvements, technical assistance and institutional capacity strengthening.

Mkawihe said the project financing includes a US$75 million credit from World Bank/IDA, US$25 million grant from World Bank/IDA and US$2 million from the Malawi Government.

LWSP has a project implementation unit (PIU) located at LWB’s Madzi House (off Likuni Road), with designated officers to handle complaints or compliments that the public may give.

LWB is a statutory corporation established in 1947 and reconstituted by the Act of Parliament ‘Water Works Act’ No. 17 of 1995 as a utility service provider for City of Lilongwe and designated surrounding areas.

Its customers include domestic, institutional, industrial as well as commercial. It has about 89,000 metered customers (12,000 of them being prepaid) and more than 1,000 water kiosks (communal water selling points) within the City.

LWB has a water distribution network of circa 2,000km, 12 reservoirs water towers and 8 water pumping stations.

It has two main treatment plants, TW I and TW II which are situated within the Water Works Campus, off Likuni Road in Area 3.

The combined capacity of the two plants is about 125,000 cubic meters per day, however, due to system bottlenecks, the Board just  produces about 105,000 cubic meters of water per day.

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