Mzimba residents have been handed a one-off opportunity to have a state-of-the-art liquid waste management system following a Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) $22 million(about K16 billion) drive to expand its Machecheta Water Plant.
Last year, Parliament passed two bills authorising government to borrow $14.85 million (about K11 billion) from Opec Fund for International Development and $5 million(about K3.6 billion) from the African Development Bank for the expansion drive.
Government is expected to invest $3 million(about K2 billion) in the upgrading of the existing water supply system and construction of associated facilities, but NRWB chief executive officer Titus Mtegha indicated that about $600 000(about K429 million) will go towards improving the way the district manages liquid waste .
“Apart from increasing access to potable water, the project includes construction of sludge ponds where liquid waste will be treated before being safely offloaded. The sanitation budget also includes funds for buying a tanker for emptying sewer tanks and mass awareness on proper management of liquid waste,” he said.
He was speaking when members of the Finance and Budget Committee of Parliament toured the site for the project which will almost double the number of Mzimba residents who access tap water from 42 000 to 75 000.
With the current plant producing about 2.6 million litres a day, the population of Mzimba town is haunted by intermittent water supply and those in hilly areas are yet to be connected to the pipe system.
District commissioner (DC) Thomas Chirwa envisages the upgrade to eliminate the dry-outs and increase access to safe water.
He was also upbeat that Mzimba will be one of the initial districts with a purpose-built liquid waste system.
The detailed designs of the water project were signed off this month with construction works expected to begin in November and close in March 2018. n