NRWB changes tune on plan to open water bottling in Karonga

Karonga residents must forget about having a sole and first water bottling plant project that was supposed to be initiated by the region water provider, Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) in the district.

In 2017, NRWB through its Director of Finance, Francis Munthali, told the residents that the institution was planning to open the water bottling plant at the multi-billion kwacha ultra-modern water supply plant constructed by Paladin Africa Limited in 2010 in the district.

Munthali said that the water bottling plant would assist the board and Karonga District Council to gain extra revenue apart from providing clean water to the communities.

Through the project, Munthali said, NRWB would be producing 7.5 cubic litres of water every week.

“The good thing is that with the water supply plant, water is already purified using a filter membrane system. This mean that the water will be bottled straight a way,” Munthali is on record saying this.

While assuring the residents that government has already given NRWB a green light, Munthali said the project would start in 2018.

The news was welcomed with happy face from the community.

But four years down the line, NRWB has been mum on the project.

When asked by Nyasa Times, NRWB public relations officer, Edward Nyirenda said the project was just a proposal and it was dropped right away.

“This was a proposal but it was not taken up. It doesn’t mean every proposal you put up, you will implement it. It was an idea at the time but dropped,” he said.

Nyirenda said the residents should forget about the long waited project.

Meanwhile some residents suspect that NRWB wants to start the project in Mzuzu and that’s why it want to relocate the mult-billion kwacha ultra-modern water supply plant from Karonga to its headquarters, Mzuzu.

NRWB public relations officer, Nyirenda denied the allegations saying “we don’t have plan to open water bottling plant anywhere and apart from that, we don’t have plan to relocate the water supply plant to Mzuzu.”

He said NRWB thought of relocating the said water supply plant to Karonga Museum as it is in the process of  constructing a new Water Plant on the same side.

Since 2015, the mult-billion kwacha ultra-modern water supply plant has been idle due to high operational and maintenance costs.

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