* The US$30.55 million commissioned by President Chakwera which will benefit 250,000 people
* Upgrade works include increased transmission pipelines, distribution network storage tanks capacity by 8,050m3
By Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express & Chisomo Kambandanga, MANA
The upgraded Nkhata Bay water treatment plant, which President Lazarus Chakwera commissioned on Thursday, is set to be treating water from 1,450m3 a day to 20,000m3 — increasing access to portable and sustainable water supply and improved sanitation services to over 105,000 people within the port town and surrounding areas.
The upgrade works, that cost US$30.55 million, includes transmission pipelines (a total of 29km long pipes of diameters ranging from DN 110 to DN 400); distribution network through installation of 122km long pipelines with diameters ranging from 63mm to 400mm and increasing storage tanks capacity by 8,050m3.
The extent of the new water supply system, whose design year is 2040, will extend up to Kapingama to the north (6.2km), Chisu to the north- east (17.7km), Mpamba (through Pundu) to the west (19km), Chombe to the south-west (15.1km), Chizi Point (through Bwelero) to the south-east (11km) and Sanga to the south (25.9km).
It also comes with sanitation services, through which a liquid waste treatment facility (sludge ponds) and solid waste dumpsite were constructed — accompanied with liquid and solid waste collection and disposal vehicles (skip carriers, vacuum tanker, handling tools).
In his speech after commissioning the plant, President Chakwera emphasized that his administration is committed to improving the health and livelihoods of people in the country, saying: “This year, we lost a lot of lives due to a cholera outbreak that hit the country and Nkhata Bay District was not spared.
“Completion of this project marks a new beginning for the people of Nkhata Bay as it will increase their access to clean water and prevent cholera and other water borne diseases.”
Chakwera disclosed that he will be commissioning a similar project in Mangochi, adding that there are also similar projects being implemented in various districts across the country with support from development partners.
“The project has, among others, constructed a solid waste management facility, rehabilitated and upgraded liquid waste treatment and constructed a number of sanitation facilities in public schools and markets which is a step towards eradication of cholera in the district,” he said.
The project was funded by African Development Bank (AfDB) at US$15.1 million as grant; Opec Fund for International Development (OPEC) (US$12 million as loan and the Republic of Malawi (US$3.45 million).
“This marks a new beginning for the people of Nkhata Bay who will now experience multiple benefits from these projects,” Chakwera said. “There are extended benefits that will manifest because access to clean water and improved sanitation will also improve service delivery in education, health, trade and tourism among other sectors.
“For Malawi to realise the targets of Sustainable Development Goal #6, we will have to stay on course in making sure that communities across the country have access to critical services as this one.
“The facility is also in line with the MW2063 vision which envisions a healthy population that must drive the development plan to its fullest implementation. My administration, therefore, remains firm on building sustainable communities equipped with all necessary basic amenities to catalyse their effective contribution towards national development.”
Speaking in Nkhatabay on Thursday when he commissioned the Nkhatabay Water Supply System and Sanitation Project which will benefit 250,000 people in the district, Chakwera said increasing access to portable water was one of his administration’s key priorities.
Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) chairperson, Frank Mwenefumbo said the project was a milestone towards achieving universal access to portable water in the country, saying: “Nkhata Bay, being one of the tourism centres, really deserved this project which will also contribute to reduction of water borne related diseases.”
Meanwhile, President Chakwera — when he addressed a rally at Nkondezi Primary School after commissioning the project — urged people to take care of development projects which are taking place in the country.
“These projects are implemented with grants and loans which will be paid later in future,” he said. “Please take care of these projects and follow the sustainability measures which have been put in place.”