President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday toured Blantyre Water Board (BWB) head office in Blantyre where he appreciated the progress the board is making to ensure that Blantyre residents and industries have potable water against a background of supply challenges in recent months.
Speaking after the tour, the President said he was very impressed with what he saw and the efforts BWB is undertaking to provide water “under very difficult and challenging circumstances”.
In the same vein, Mutharika
also commended Blantyre residents and businesses for their patience during times of intermittent water supply.
He said: “I want to thank the people of Blantyre for the patience they have shown. I live here sometimes and sometimes there is no water even at Sanjika Palace so I know what it is like. It is difficult, but we are going through it and we understand that the board is doing its best.”
On the development of new water sources from Likhubula River in Mulanje to Blantyre, Mutharika said he is excited that the board is thinking of developing alternative sources of water as it is in government’s plans to improve the water supply situation, not only in Blantyre but also in the cities of Mzuzu and Lilongwe.
Said the President: “I am very pleased to note that we are on track towards improving the water situation and also modernising the process. I am glad that the Likhubula project will very soon happen. I think we should be able to get the remaining amount of the Indian line of credit, the $23.5 million, soon.”
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza briefed the President on the issues of obsolete equipment used by the board and encroachment in the board’s catchment area by people from the nearby Ndirande Township.
Briefing the President on the Likhubula project, BWB board member Maureen Kachingwe, who represented board chairperson James Naphambo, said the specific target areas for the project include Bangwe, Namiyango, Limbe, Mpingwe, BCA Hill and Nguludi.