Dedza — Installationof an 86.4-kilowatt solar water plant is expected to reduce water problems which have hit Dedza district for a long time.
Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of the facility in Dedza by the Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo, Central Region Waterboard (CRWB) Chief Executive Officer, Gift Sageme, said the installed solar water plant will increase production capacity.
He said the demand for water in Dedza is currently at 7000 cubic metres per day but at the moment they are producing only 2000 cubic metres.
"This facility has two submersible water pumps which are pumping water from 100 meters deep in the ground pushing it to Dedza waterboard treatment plants 4.5 kilometers.
"Due to intermittent power supply, the facility will combine power supply from Escom with solar power to ensure that water is pumped at all times while in the process increasing production capacity and reducing the problem of dry taps," said Sageme.
In her remarks, Tembo said government is committed to ending water problems by implementing projects that will be sustainable in the long run.
"We need to plan ahead because as you can see Dedza is growing and more people will need water in the future," she said.
She said projects like these will also attract investors in the district saying people invest in places where the environment is conducive and water is very essential.
The Minister also warned all contractors who are tasked with government contracts to build professionally so that money realised from a project should be used for expansion not repairs.
District Commissioner for Dedza, Emmanuel Bulukutu, said the water plant will help in the growth of Dedza district which usually experiences spells of dry taps.
The project was implemented by the Malawi Government with funding from the World Bank to the tune of $1.2 million (approximately K900 million).
The foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) limited company was awarded the contract to install the pumps for CRWB in Dedza, Ntcheu, Salima and Ntchisi.
According to FISD's Chief Construction Officer Raymond Mwenitete, the facility in Dedza which is at the testing phase is one of the biggest as it consists 320 solar panels which will power two water pumps producing 13 litres of water per second.