By Andrew Mkonda, MANA
Northern Region Water Board Chief Executive Officer, Titus Mtegha says construction works of the much anticipated US$26.7 million (about K19 billion) Karonga water supply project is expected to start by October this year.
In an interview on Thursday, Mtegha said a consultant for the project, Engineering Consultants Group of Egypt (ECG) is currently finalizing designing the project.
“Our plan is that we should identify a contractor who will do the project by August hoping that construction works will take off the ground in October 2020,” he said.
The project will put in place a new system that will address current water supply challenges and effectively serve Karonga Boma and its surrounding areas up to the year 2035.
Mtegha said the existing Karonga water supply system is far less than the current water demand.
“Residents at Karonga Boma receive potable water for less than 16 hours a day. In addition, there is no water reticulation in the newly developed areas surrounding the town, as such, some people use unsafe water,” he said.
Among others, the project will involve rehabilitating, upgrading and expanding the existing water supply system so that it provides reliable and sustainable potable water.
He further said the project will also upgrade the water treatment plant from the current production capacity of 12 million to 31 million liters of water per day and upgrading a 28 kilometer transmission pipelines while increasing storage tanks capacity by 10 million liters.
Karonga District Council chairperson, Steve Simsokwe said people are keen to see the project materialise.
“This is good news and everyone is excited because the board is involving all relevant stakeholders in all the project’s processes.
“We are happy that the water supply system will be extended to remote areas where people consume and use water from unprotected sources,” said Simsokwe.
The project will be financed by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
The two institutions will inject US$10 million and US$15 million respectively while the remaining amount will come from Government of Malawi through NRWB.
Once completed, the project will serve a population of 184,000 people. Some of the areas to be covered include Pusi to the north, Nyungwe to the south and Mpata to the west.