Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has pledged to rehabilitate and upgrade Blantyre Water Board’s (BWB) Mudi Dam and Water Treatment Plant as part of its priority programmes in Africa.
Jica International director general of Africa Division Ryuichi Kato made the commitment when he visited BWB head office on Tuesday to appreciate the challenges the water utility provider is facing in utilising the plant to its full capacity.
He said there is need to change direction on water supply development in the wake of urbanisation and population growth.
Said Kato: “Africa is facing rapid urbanisation. Therefore, there is need to change direction from rural to urban water development programmes to cater for the growing population. Mudi Dam will be put on the priority list for consideration among Jica projects so that it continues to serve its intended purpose.”
On his part, BWB chief executive officer Engineer Daniel Chaweza commended Jica for the capacity building and technical assistance.
He said: “Jica has really assisted us in areas of revenue, distribution and customer service. The board, however, still faces energy costs and non-revenue water challenges.”
Chaweza also said by revamping Mudi Dam, Blantyre city will be assured of steady water supply.
Mudi Dam had an initial capacity of 45 000 cubic metres of water production per day but now provides 8 000 cubic metres per day due to heavy siltation and lack of efficient raw water pumping machinery.