President Peter Mutharika yesterday commissioned a Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) project to construct Karonga Town Water Supply System to benefit about 188 000 people.
The launch comes against a background of Karonga facing water challenges with NRWB struggling to provide reliable water supply. This has led to water access challenges that have left some communities drinking water from unsafe sources that put them at risk of contracting waterborne diseases.
The water project, valued at $26.7million, is being funded by Opec Fund for International Development, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea) and the Government of Malawi.
Speaking during the launch at Kibwe Primary School ground in Karonga, the President committed to providing safe water to everyone as well as a good road network to promote development in the country.
Mutharika, who also officially opened the rehabilitated Karonga-Songwe Road, challenged that in the next five years every corner of the country will have good roads and potable water.
In his remarks, NRWB chief executive officer Titus Mtegha said the water project is a relief to the board and the people of Karonga as NRWB is only able to supply water to clients 16 hours a day.
The project is expected to take 28 months to complete.
On the Karonga-Songwe Road, Roads Authority (RA) chief executive officer Emmanuel Matapa said the road has been built to last long. He said it has the capacity to handle heavy goods vehicles of up to 60 tonnes.
World Bank Malawi office transport specialist Chikondi Msusa Chilipa commended the Malawi government for ensuring that the road is rehabilitated, saying this will facilitate trade between Malawi and other countries as well as ease transport challenges. n