Cabinet has approved that government should guarantee a $400 million (about K30 billion) loan for a Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) project to tap water from Lake Malawi.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, using powers vested in him through the Public Finance Management Act, on Friday informed the National Assembly about the proposal.
In his ministerial statement on the matter, Gondwe said due to the current water crisis being experienced in Lilongwe, government will guarantee the K30 billion loan LWB has borrowed for a pipeline from Lake Malawi to supply water to the capital city.
Said the minister: “We would like to make use of our lake to combat climate change. We would like to [draw] water from the lake to Lilongwe for drinking, but later we will develop a scheme that will not only service Lilongwe, but many places in between.”
He also said government will expand irrigation programmes to Karonga and South Bwanje Valley in Ntcheu.
Reacting to the statement, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson on finance Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi welcomed the idea, adding that what the party would like to see is the documentation regarding the whole project for transparency and oversight purposes.
“The beneficiaries of the project will be Malawians and this is not the first time for government to be a guarantor of such a project. I have in mind the Northern Region Water Board which borrowed money from the African Development Bank for a big water project,” he said.
In her remarks, People’s Party (PP) spokesperson on finance Agnes Nyalonje said government should not forget other areas that are experiencing similar challenges. n