President Peter Mutharika has said that Malawi will go ahead with the plan to drill poil and gas in the Lake Malawi, saying there is nothing to worry on aquaculture as well as human life.
Mutharika, speaking on Wednesday in the Eastern Region lakeshore district of Mangochi during this year’s World Water Day commemorations, appealed to people in the country to take care of Lake Malawi, which he said is the country’s national treasure.
The President said the lake is wholly owned by Malawi and should therefore be protected and preserved by all well-meaning Malawians, saying water is an essential commodity that drives the economy of the country.
He then maintained that oil drilling will continue in the Lake Malawi despite calls from environmentalist to Malawi government to abandon the oil and gas project.
“Those who worry about our plans to explore and drill oil have no reason to fear. If we decide to drill oil in the lake, we will ensure to use on-shore clean technology.
“We value our Lake and we will ensure we implement measures to protect it, at all cost,” the President assured at a Nkopola Lakeshore Conference Centre in Mangochi.
Mutharika called on the nation to reduce water wastage and preserve water in catchment areas to make water available for agriculture production and industrial use in dry seasons.
“Don’t waste water, water is life. The World is going through the worst climate change, water resources are dwindling day by day therefore, we must find ways of preserving the water so that we have maximum supply throughout the year,” said Mutharika in line with this years’ theme: ‘Wastewater Reuse for Sustainable Development’
Earlier in the day, Mutharika commissioned the Mangochi Water Treatment plant which has been financed by Opec Fund for International Development.
Mutharika said the Mangochi water treatment works would supply water to about 60, 000 people in the next 10 to 15 years thereby fulfilling sustainable development goal number six.
“That resolve will ensure that we provide potable water to all people living in Malawi by 2030 including the people of Mangochi and surrounding areas. That is why my government has specifically established the Mangochi water treatment plant,” Mutharika pointed out.
He said government will continue implementing policies that make water available, preserved, safe and utilizable for agricultural production and for domestic and industrial use.
President Mutharika added that government was in the process of enacting legislation that provides for an independent regulator for water supply and sanitation.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Aggrey Massi said currently Mangochi water treatment plant is producing at least 5, 700 cubic metres of water per day serving 50, 000 people.
He said considering the quantity of waste water generation and its overall pollution load which was increasing globally, there was need for people in the country to consider other ways of recycling and reusing waste water.
Chairperson of the Water Services Association of Malawi-WASAMA Engineer Alfonso Chikuni said the plant will ease pressure on the existing plants as the Southern Region Water board will be able to treat water locally.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :