Minister of Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo has cancelled plans by Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) to relocate the multi-billion kwacha ultra-modern water plant to Karonga Museum.
The water plant was constructed by uranium mining company, Paladin Africa Limited in 2010 as its social responsibility in Karonga District but NRWB — with support from senior traditional leaders — signed an agreement to relocate it from its original site to Karonga Museum.
The decision angered the residents, who suspected that NRWB wanted to eventually relocate the water plant to Mzuzu or remove some of its parts.
Following the escalating disagreements, Minister Tembo organized a round table discussion in which it was discovered that NRWB bypassed some protocols — especially by not consulting other stakeholders.
The Minister then had no option but to cancel the plan while ordering NRWB to find another place to construct its new water plant.
In his remarks, while accepting NRWB’s failure to follow procedures, board chairperson, Bruce Munthali apologized to the Minister and the community.
However, he said the development will affect their project as they already started constructing a new water testing laboratory at the place.
Paramount Chief Kyungu, who was also on forefront supporting NRWB to relocate the plant, thanked the Minister for her intervention, saying it has brought peace.
Representing the residents, Councilor for Chilanga Ward, Steve Simsokwe — who is also a renowned youth activist in the district — warned NRWB not to make the same mistake again.