Malawi: Nankhumwa Hails Lilongwe Water Board for 'Working Smart'

13 November 2019

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has applauded the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) for complementing Malawi government's efforts in providing safe water to the City of Lilongwe.

Nankhumwa inspects the equipment Nankhumwa opens Maligunde Centre for Lilongwe Water Board The Malingunde Centre officially opened Nankhumwa posing with LWB staff at Malingunde Centre

Nankhumwa made the remarks on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 in the capital, Lilongwe, when he was guest of honour during the commissioning of Lilongwe Water Board New Office Complex, commissioning of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported Non Revenue Water Equipment and the celebration of Lilongwe Water Board - Vitens Evides International 10-year partnership.

The minister said LWB's commitment is manifested by the construction of the magnificent 'Malingunde Centre' (office complex) and the innovations that the Board has been introducing over the years to improve its service and customer care.

"The essence of state-owned parastatals is not to rely on government funding, but to be innovative and be able to generate resources for their own operations and the government as a whole.

"Lilongwe Water Board is one of the shining examples of how parastatals should be run. The Board has, over the years, managed to transform itself from loss-making into a profitable institution.

"Not only has it managed to set strategic goals but it has also implemented each one of the set plans methodically and religiously," said Nankhumwa, adding that the construction of Malingunde Centre confirms the Board's philosophy of departing "from working hard to start working smart".

"Today, Lilongwe Water Board wears a new face; and this building is in line with His Excellency President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika's vision of transforming this country through improved infrastructure and job creation. We all know that the Board's mandate is to provide quality potable water to the city of Lilongwe. I would like to take this moment to appreciate the efforts Lilongwe Water Board is making despite the water challenges the city has been facing.

"I would like to invite other parastatals to emulate the performance culture of Lilongwe Water Board and implement the reforms as propagated by our President Professor Mutharika," said Nankhumwa.

The minister then commended JICA for donating state of the art equipment, which will assist LWB reduce Non-Revenue Water, noting it is sad that the Board loses 36% of its revenue due to this vice. He said he was optimistic that the Board would put the equipment to its intended use.

"Billions of Kwachas, which would have assisted the Board's operations, are lost every year. Noting the desire for efficiency enhancement by the Board, the Japanese Government through its international corporation arm, JICA, came to its rescue in providing high-tech Non Revenue Water equipment.

"We are glad this afternoon that upon realizing that the Board needed assistance in dealing with Non-Revenue Water, JICA has granted these pieces of equipment. The Government of Malawi appreciates all the support that the Government of Japan offers to Malawi," he said.

On the celebration of the 10-year Partnership between Lilongwe Water Board and Vitens Evides International, Nankhumwa observed the partnership was an example of two different public water operators from different backgrounds putting their efforts together for a common goal.

"It's a partnership that has evolved from traditional practices to customized practices that are relevant to the situation of Malawi. Through this partnership, identifiable and measurable benefits have been deduced such as supply of water to low income areas, implementation of water demand strategies as well as capacity development of LWB workforce. It is through these partnerships that as Malawi will transform into a prosperous nation," said.

Other speakers at the event included CEO for Lilongwe Water Board, Engineer Alfonso Chikuni, Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Grey Nyandule Phiri, Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Kae Yanagisawa, and Board Chairperson for Lilongwe Water Board, Bishop Dr. Charles Tsukuluza.

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