Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) says it will address water challenges in some parts of the Southern Region when with a loan of about K28 billion from the European Investment Bank.
SRWB said they will have water systems upgrading to meet the growing demand starting with Balaka District and Machinga, in particular Liwonde, where people are facing problems in accessing potable water.
The loan was approved by parliament during its recent mid year budget review meeting.
Through the loan, SRWB will borrow about K28 billion from EIB to upgrade the water system so that people in the two districts have access to reliable water supply but also for the board to supply to more people.
The project is expected to commence in March 2022 and will be completed in August 2023. Once done, SRWB will be able to supply water to 150 000 customers but also meet the demand of up to 2050.
According to SRWB acting chief executive officer Duncan Chambamba, such a project is long over due to residents and communities on the two districts.
“The situation has been so pathetic especially in Liwonde where residents almost held demonstrations against the board for its failure to supply water for both domestic and commercial customers,” Chambamba lamented.
”In most cases residents experience dry taps for better part of the day despite our efforts to pump water into our reservoirs or tanks before we later supply to them for use,” he added.
He further disclosed that the situation is similar with residents and communities in Balaka.
”Much as the situation in Balaka might be a bit not bad as to compare with Liwonde, still we have been unable to satisfy the demand though we buy water from Mpira Dam in Ntcheu which is still not adequate for our customers,” he said.
Chambamba therefore disclosed that the board will work hard to meet the projects deadline of 2023 before the official launch.
He added that the implementation of the project will largely mean increasing the water pumping capacity to correspondent with the ever increasing population of people in the two districts with the projections that it will increase ten times by 2050.
Chambamba also said the implementation of the project will result into creation of jobs for local communities who will recruited by the contractor who is yet to be identified.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Felix Mlusu has justified the decision by government to allow SRWB borrow the money from the European Development Bank.
”This loan is very crucial as it will allow the board to carry out these huge projects which will enable people in the two districts access safe and potable water,”Mlusu said.
”This is a soft loan with an interest rate of about 1.5% and will be paid in 20 years with a five year grace period’,’ he said.
He further revealed that part of the financial resources will be used for the establishment of a power plant by SRWB hence enabling the institution diversify its operations and increase its revenue.
Water challenges have been one of the issues affecting the social and economic development of the country where communities are forced to draw water from unsafe sources hence being prone to waterborne diseases such as Cholera.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :