The Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) says it has saved $2.6 million (about K2 billion) from the Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation project and $235 000 (about K173 million) from the Kalenge Water project in Chitipa after contractors charged less than the available funds.
In an interview, NRWB chief executive officer Titus Mtegha said since the Kalenge saving is small, government has returned the funds to financiers, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea).
He said: “Out of the $2.6 million we have saved, $1 million will be used to replace part of the pipe that supplies water to the treatment works. It is a PVC pipe and we want to replace it with a steel pipe for durability. We also want to add 5 000 customers on top of our target of 65 000.
“We have discussed with African Development Bank (AfDB) and they gave us a nod to utilise the savings in that manner.”
Mtegha said the savings resulted from contractors charging less than the amount the board had sourced.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha urged other water boards to emulate NRWB.
The $22.85 million (K16.7 billion) Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation project seeks to improve the welfare of the people of Mzimba through the provision of potable water and sanitation services.