The fate of the much awaited feasibility study report for the navigability of the Shire-Zambezi Waterway is to be known next week, Nation on Sunday has established.
In an interview on Wednesday, the study’s focal point in Malawi, Phillip Manduwi, confirmed that ministers from the three partner countries—Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia—will meet in Lilongwe to decide on whether navigability of the waterway is viable.
Mozambique and Zambia had their own focal points too during the study.
“I can confirm that there will be a ministers’ meeting from Monday to Thursday next week to make a decision on the report which will determine the future of the project,” said Manduwi.
The feasibility study was carried out by Hydroplan of Germany after signing a consultancy agreement with the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) in September 2013.
The Governments of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia through the Sadc secretariat received a grant of three million euros from the African Development Bank (AfDB) towards the cost of conducting the study.
An earlier statement from the Sadc secretariat said the objective of the study was to open the Shire River in Malawi and Zambezi River in Zambia and Mozambique for navigation to demonstrate its technical, economic, financial, social and environmental viability and sustainability.
According to some inside sources, the two rivers are navigable and that fears of any environmental impact on either aquatic life or the surrounding areas are unfounded.