Malawi: Robert Hanjahanja Appointed New Blantyre Water Board CEO, Wants Board to Reduce Inefficiencies

14 September 2021

The Board of Directors for Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has hired Engineer Robert Hanjahanja as the board's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) succeeding Engineer Daniel Chawezi whose three-year contract expires on October 31, 2020.

BWB Board of Directors Chairperson, George Nnesa said on Monday, September 13, 2021, the new CEO was identified after a tough and thorough process.

In an interview with Nyasa Times on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, the new CEO said his reaction to the appointment is one of humble gratitude "and at the same time of eagerness to go ahead and serve the people of Malawi in the best of my capacity by the grace of God, who is my biggest helper".

"My vision is to help BWB expand, reduce inefficiencies and provide high quality service to the often neglected Urban Poor areas," said Hanjahanja, adding that he is a water utility specialist with passion for serving and providing the urban poor with sustainable water and sanitation solutions.

In his career, he has worked as Deputy Chief of Party with USAID - EWASH, a program implemented by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in Abuja, Nigeria. Prior to this, he was Chief Director for Irrigation and Water Development in the Ministry of Agriculture & Water Development (Malawi).

Hanjahanja has a huge wealth of experience having served as the Chief Executive Officer for Southern Region Water Board; Consultant at Castalia Strategic Advisors in a reform project for Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company in Kenya; Utility Specialist with USAID-SUWASA, a program implemented by Tetratech Consulting and Engineering Firm in Nairobi, Kenya where he assisted in the development and coordination of their reform and technical initiatives for the nine countries that SUWASA worked - Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Liberia and Senegal.

More about Hanjahanja's career

Hanjahanja was also Country Director for Habitat for Humanity, a Malawi an NGO, which provides sustainable low-cost housing solutions for the poor. Prior to that, he was at Lilongwe Water Board where he was Director of Engineering Services and Acting CEO. His first assignment was a Water Engineer in the Water Department in the Ministry of Works and Supplies.

He is a Registered Utility Management Specialist with Institute of Public- Private Partnerships (IP3) in the USA and is a Registered Engineer with the Malawi Board of Engineers.

He holds a Degree in Civil Engineering from the Malawi Polytechnic, a Master's Degree in Planning of Urban Services from Loughborough University (UK), and a PhD in Environmental Engineering with focus on Water Service Delivery Options to the Urban Poor from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

A bit personal

Grew up as a son of a diplomat who had postings in Germany and the USA .

Committed his life to the LORD JESUS on October 29, 1991 while studying at Polytechnic in Blantyre.

A preacher and singer of the Gospel and a servant of the Lord JESUS CHRIST.

Married and has three children.

Ardent supporter of Manchester United.

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