Blantyre Water Board (BWB) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mulanje residents to facilitate cooperation in the board’s K18 billion Likhubula Water Supply System project.
Through the project that will tap water from Mulanje Mountain, BWB is expected to produce an additional 20 million litres of water per day to benefit its customers in Mulanje, Chiradzulu, Blantyre and surrounding areas.
However, on two occasions, the project has failed to take off due to alleged sabotage by a grouping of community members operating under the name Citizens for the Protection of Mulanje Mountain (CPM).
CPM has been threatening to frustrate the project unless BWB honours an agreement to plant trees on selected areas on the mountain.
But speaking after the MoU signing yesterday at Hapuwani Lodge in Mulanje, BWB board chairperson James Naphambo described the MoU as a framework that will put into perspective some of the key issues that need to be focused on.
He said: “To us, this is just supplementing the amount of 96 million litres that is currently being produced per day for our customers in Blantyre.”
In a separate interview, a CPM representative Wyson Liwonde pledged to work with BWB in the project, which he acknowledged would benefit many.
Both Mulanje district council chairperson Charles Kapata and Senior Chief Mkanda issued stern warnings against those wanting to sabotage the project, saying they will let the law take its course.
The project is being financed through a $23.5 million (about K18 billion) loan from Exim Bank of India. n