Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has signed a partnership with the water and sanitation unit of EThekwini Municipality of Durban, South Africa to improve efficiency in potable water supply in the two institution’s supply areas.
Through the partnership, BWB will also benefit from Water Operator’s Partnership (Wop) Project, alongside Ethiopia’s Sodo Town Water Utility and Sewage Services.
The partnership was launched on Tueday on the sidelines of the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BWB and EThekwini Municipality.
Among other things, the project seeks to advocate a balanced approach to utility management.
Speaking after signing the MoU at BWB head office in Blantyre, EThekwini strategic executive officer responsible for research and international relations Teddy Gounden tipped BWB on dealing with challenges affecting effective water supply within its jurisdiction.
“Rich people are now penetrating rural areas for settlement. This keeps pushing the demand for water higher. On the other hand, the development means a viable market to be explored,” he said.
Comptroller of Statutory Corporations Stuart Ligomeka, who was the guest of honour, played down fears that government was crippling the growth of utility service provision through unpaid bills by its ministries, departments and agencies.
“Institutions with outstanding bills will have to clear them before they can enjoy the services once more,” he said.
BWB becomes the second water utility body in the country to partner a South African counterpart after the Northern Region Water Board teamed up with Bloemwater and Premiers Office of Free State about 20 years ago. The project is funded by the Opec Fund for International Development (Ofid) under a collaborative agreement with Global Water Operators’ Partnership Alliance.