Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo has ordered Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) not to relocate the Garnet Halliday Water Treatment Plant from its current place to Karonga Museum.
The minister’s order came two days after a meeting between Karonga Chief’s Council and concerned citizens over the same issue. During the meeting, the concerned citizens asked NRWB to find another place to install their new plant.
However, speaking during the meeting on Friday, Tembo said she appreciated the concerns from Karonga Concerned Citizens.
She said: “The Lazarus Chakwera government believes in contact and dialogue as a means of promoting peace and unity.
“Therefore, having listened to both sides, I am glad that a consensus has been reached and I urge NRWB to leave the plant where it is and bring back the spare parts that were removed.”
Tembo said NRWB should have consulted stakeholders, including the concerned citizens before making any decision to relocate the plant.
“However, while the board will be identifying another piece of land for their new machine for the water supply project, it should ensure that the project does not miss the September deadline,” she said.
NRWB board chairperson James Munthali said the consensus was a step ahead for the project.
He said: “On behalf of the board, I accepted that we might have made mistakes here and there.
“The challenge will be to identify another piece of land as soon as possible.”
Karonga Chief’s Council chairperson Paramount Chief Kyungu commended the stakeholders for resolving the differences amicably.
“The consensus will enable government through NRWB to implement the water supply project in the district,” he said.
The concerned citizens chairperson Mavuto Mvula said he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting.