Blantyre Water Board says it expects the Mulanje Water Project which is to construct new water supply system from Likhubula water source on Mulanje Mountain to Blantyre supply area to roll out in June this year.
President Peter Mutharika launched the K18 billion Likhubula Water Supply System project on November 7, 2016 which involves drawing water from Likhubula River all the way to Nguludi Turnoff in Chiradzulu where there will be a treatment plant.
BWB Public Relations Manager (PRM) Priscilla Mateyu said the project whose finances have already been secured from the Indian Line of Credit through Exim Bank is currently at the procuring of contractor stage.
“At the moment the procurement of the contractor is at an advanced stage,” Mateyu said in quotes reported by Malawi News Agency (Mana).
“ It is expected that the bids will be opened on 15th May 2017 and that the contractor will mobilize and be on site by 15th June 2017.
Mateyu said the project got a $23.5 million (about K18 billion) line of credit from the Exim Bank of India to finance it of which 15 percent will be from Blantyre Water Board.
The time frame for the project is 18 months.
BWB will then supply the water to Blantyre and surrounding districts such as Chiradzulu and parts of Thyolo. The water will also benefit people from the source, Mulanje.
Last year, the project faced some opposition from community members under Citizens for the Protection of Mulanje Mountain (CPM). They blocked the then Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda when he wanted to visit the water source, arguing that government should first reafforest 3 500 hectares where trees were destroyed.
The residents also wanted government to assure them that they will benefit from the project.
CPM secretary general David Majeweta said BWB will plant trees within the project’s catchment area at Chambe Basin instead of the 3 500 hectares.
Meanwhile, Mateyu said the BWB also has plans to embark on some more projects which include; having a new water intake along Shire River 4.3Km upstream of the Walkers Ferry Intake, intensification of Boreholes as well as regaining the capacity of Mudi Dam by dredging all the silt and debris that has reduced the dam capacity.
“The designs for the Shire River Project were already finalized and the board is in the process of securing funding. On the boreholes which will supplement the current water sources, the board has already embarked in the identification of sites for the boreholes and already four boreholes have been sunk and are operational in Lunzu area. With all these projects in place, the board is assured of providing water supply to Blantyre and surrounding areas for the next 50 years,” the PRM said.
She indicated that while the new intake along the Shire River and the dredging of Mudi Dam will be solely financed by donors, the sinking of boreholes will be financed solely by the Board’s own resources.
It is expected that the new water source at Mulanje will provide an additional 20000m3 while the one along the Shire River will produce about 120,000m3 adding to an already existing capacity of 96,000m3 from Walkers Ferry which will improve efficiency of water supply as well as sustainability of supply as the above water sources are reliable perennial rivers.
She said with the water sources, BWB will be able to reduce pumping costs in terms of electricity thereby saving a lot of money.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :