As Mzuzu’s population is fast growing at 4.6 percent annually, the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) is also in an expansion drive.
The board says it requires $75 million (about K33 billion) for construction of a new dam to address the city’s increasing water demand.
This was revealed on Saturday at the commissioning of a K31.5 million Ekwendeni Water Treatment Plant which will ensure that Ekwendeni is not relying on Mzuzu water system.
NRWB chief executive officer Titus Mtegha told journalists that the board has challenges in sourcing funds to kick-start the project.
He said currently NRWB is in talks with government and other corporate partners to raise funds for the project.
“We are working on developing a second dam for Mzuzu. The dam that is currently in Mzuzu is not adequate for the growing population. So, we did feasibility studies [andwe identified a suitable site where we can construct a dam that will provide enough water for the people of Mzuzu for the next 20 or 30 years.
“Once funding has been identified, we should then be able to construct the dam and Mzuzu will be taken out of the water situation we are facing or likely to face,” he said.
Mtegha said the new dam will be constructed in Chikangawa Forest.
Meanwhile, NRWB is in the process of reviving old water treatment plants which were lying idle to ease pressure on Lunyangwa Dam in Mzuzu.
Mtegha said Ekwendeni water plant is one of the plants which has been idle for 10 years. “Previously, Ekwendeni was connected to Mzuzu water supply. But due to pressure Ekwendeni was exerting on Lunyangwa Dam, we decided that Ekwendeni should have its own water system by reviving the old one.
“With this system operational, it means we have taken off the pressure from Mzuzu dam. We were supplying 1 000 cubic metres of water (one million litres) from Mzuzu to Ekwendeni on a daily basis. This means we will be saving that much for our customers in Mzuzu,” he said.
Mtegha said the Ekwendeni water system has cost them K31.5 million with funds sourced within the board.
Last month, NRWB also commissioned another water system at Songwe in Karonga.