UNDP warns Malawi govt over Lilongwe water project awarded to Khato

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) representative Mia Seppo has warned the government against employing shortcuts in the  $453 million Salima-Lilongwe Water Supply Project awarded to Khato Civils Limited.

UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Mia Seppo: No shortcuts

Salima-Lilongwe Water Supply Project, which seeks to pump water from Lake Malawi to the capital city, was a government initiative to ensure that the people of Lilongwe have access to water supply.

But there has been concerns of lack  of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and feasibility study.

Seppo said no corners should be cut in the mega water project.

“All procedures should be followed to the latter, everything should be done to detail,” said Seppo.

Her comments on the issue come barely days after President Peter Mutharika accused donors of delaying and trying to sabotage the water project.

Mutharika said: “I urge the civil society and development partners not to sabotage this project. Let me tell them, you are here not to run this country. This country is a sovereign nation. The water project will continue and within four or five years it will be completed. There is no other choice on the water crisis.”

But hte Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) said the development partners were merely demanding transparency and accountability.

Some civil rights activists are accusing the government of trying to implement the water project without an environmental assessment.

In April this year, Malawi Law Society (MLS) successfully sought a court order compelling the Department of Environmental Affairs to produce details of the contract on the water project as well as an EIA report.

This compelled Lilongwe Water Board to advertise for a firm to carry out a feasibility study which is ready.

The order also compels the Department of Environmental Affairs to furnish the law society with details of the contract between government and Khato Civils.

According to court documents MLS questions the legality of some decisions made by authorities concerned with the implementation of the project.

MLS feels the authorities neglected their duties by moving forward with the decision in the absence of an environmental impact assessment.

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5 years ago

I fully agree with Seppo’s concerns. A project of this magnitude needed its procurement be fully adjudicated leaving nothing to chance. The absence of EIA report indicates that the scope of the project is inadequate perhaps having many of critical issues under the iceberg. Advertise the scope please and we as the citizens being the stakeholders will advise. We are not fools as you think mr President! Your outburst clearly indicates that you don’t fully understand how procurement processes operate or that you have been ill advised or that you have something to benefit personally. Be careful as this project… Read more »

Nganiza Muthulika
5 years ago

This is another way Of Muntharika to enrich himself by giving the contract to his associety business men in order to share money. This is how Muntharikas has enriched themselves. Its The same maize gate. Every project they do the same. Yes Malawi is a soveign country but such projects are financed by donar money and they have right to question when they ser things go wrong.

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