2 March 2018

Malawi: Lilongwe Water Board Explains About Project to Renew Water Systems in the Capital City

Photo: Eldson Chagara/Unicef Malawi
(File photo).

Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is expected to save K4 billion which the company has been losing due to water wastage along the way following the old pipes which were bursting due to vandalism.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for LWB, Engineer Alfonso Chikuni revealed that the board has been losing alot of money because the pipes have not been replaced for long time.

LWB upon approval by Parliament, will be embarking on a project which is expected to cost over US$100 million on Water and Sanitation with the aim of improving water supply and hygiene within Lilongwe City.

He said the World Bank Board has provided the amount through International Development Agency (IDA) for the implementation of the five-year Lilongwe Water and Sanitation project (LWSP).

Chikuni said the project would not provide additional water sources but rehabilitate and renew water systems in the city.

The Government of Malawi (GoM) through the Lilongwe Water Board, with financial support from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, will embark on the Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project (LWSP)to improve water delivery and sanitation services in Lilongwe city and surrounding areas under five components.

The Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project is one of investments under the broader Lilongwe Water Program- which is the Board's medium-term investment plan.

The Program consists of a series of investment projects designed to address the immediate and medium term water and sanitation needs, and support a long-term solution to Lilongwe City's growing demand for improved water services and safely managed sanitation services.

Chikuni said the Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project is expected to benefit about half a million residents.

And Lilongwe Water Board will implement the project jointly with the Lilongwe City Council (LCC).

"This project is expected, upon completion, to improve the systems hydraulic capacity and reduce losses by ten percentage points. Two thirds of the project funds will help rehabilitate and expand the water distribution network. This will include construction of 27km of transmission mains and associated pumping stations and storage reservoirs," said Chikuni.

The project is also expected upgrade 142km of existing distribution network and expand the distribution network by about 186 km to areas of the city not currently served by piped water.

"While improving the distribution network, we are simultaneously increasing the capacity of Kamuzu Dam I."

Other components which the project will help include; capacity building, Protection of water from the source, and Sanitation.

"Sanitation is another area we expect to see improvement once the project is completed. Just about 5 percent of the population of Lilongwe city is served by a sewer system, while the majority depends on onsite sanitation systems such as pit latrines and septic tanks. The project will therefore rehabilitate and expand the sewerage network (107 km) and the Kauma sewage treatment plant. 5,000 new sewer connections will be installed to benefit about 90,000 people.

"There will be further support to construct 8,000 improved sanitation facilities benefitting about 160,000 people from poor and vulnerable households. Sanitation improvements will also cover some markets and schools.Sanitation improvements are expected to take about one fifth of the project funds,"Said Chikuni.

Chikuni said what the project means that the issues of sewage horror which happened in Area 18 cannot reoccur.

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