Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has started constructing the Nkhata Bay Water Supply and Sanitation project which is expected to benefit about 150 000 residents of Nkhata Bay Boma and surrounding areas.
The works, to be carried out by China Civil Construction Company, will cost $30.55 million (about K21.7 billion), and will be completed in 2022.
Speaking when briefing members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Saturday, NRWB director of infrastructure development Engineer Catherine Mwafulirwa said the works will involve upgrading the treatment plant to increase production capacity from 2 350 cubic metres per day to 19 263 cubic metres per day.
“There will also be construction of service reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 10 000 cubic metres at five different locations.
“We will also construct 50 communal water points and re-afforest the catchment area of Nkhata River by planting 400 000 seedlings,” she said.
PAC chairperson Shadreck Namalomba urged NRWB to work within the timeframe so that people of Nkhata Bay should have access to clean and potable water.
Nkhata Bay District Council chairperson Cyria Nyamwera said the district is currently experiencing more challenges in access to potable water and hopes the project will address the gaps.
The project is expected to increase Nkhata Bay residents’ access to potable water from 37 to 90 percent and access to sanitation facilities from 45 to 85 percent.
In October 2018, the African Development Bank Group approved a $15 million grant from the African Development Fund for the project. While this only covers for half of the estimated project cost, other funds will come from Opec Fund for International Development (a $12 million loan) and the Malawi Government ($3.4 million).