The African Water Facility (AWF), in collaboration with New Partnership for Africa's Development - Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF), hosted a meeting recently to launch the preparatory phase of the Songwe River Basin Development Programme in Kyela, Tanzania.
The event was attended by more than 150 people, including local and national government officials from both countries and representatives from the beneficiary communities.
The objective of the preparatory phase is to foster regional cooperation and assist the two countries in creating a long-term strategic framework, investment plans, and an enabling environment for basin-wide development based on joint management of the shared waters. The project is expected to benefit the entire population of both countries, representing about 60 million people.
AWF and NEPAD-IPPF have respectively provided €3.5 million and €1.2 million in grants to the governments of Malawi and Tanzania to finance the preparatory work.
The AWF and NEPAD-IPPF funding will be used for the preparation of a long-term shared vision and for the 10-year Songwe River Basin Development Programme. It will also support detailed designs and the preparation of infrastructure projects in the field of hydropower, irrigation, water supply and sanitation, amounting to about €400 million.
"The AWF congratulates Malawi and Tanzania for this joint initiative that promises to bring wide-reaching benefits on both sides of the border," said Akissa Bahri, Coordinator of the African Water Facility. "When it comes to developing the socioeconomic potential of shared water resources to reach maximum benefits, regional cooperation is often the best and smartest option."
The goal of the Songwe River Basin Development Programme is to improve the health and living conditions of the people of the Songwe Basin region, enhance their food and energy security, and boost the economic development of the two countries.
The Republic of Malawi is the Executing Agency on behalf of the two governments.