Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza has applauded Blantyre Water Board (BWB) for the completion of rehabilitation and upgrading of its Chileka Pumping Station.
Speaking after commissioning the pumping station on Monday, the minister said the completion of the project will give hope and certainty to the supply of water to people of Blantyre and surrounding areas.
He said the commissioning of the station will also bring sanity to the works of the board as government was not happy to see people go without water for weeks in the city of Blantyre.
Said Chiyembekeza: “I would like to commend Blantyre Water Board for taking an active role in ensuring the project is completed as it will bring a noticeable change to the supply of water to Blantyre.
“Our goal as government and those other international organisations working in the water sector is to make sure more people have access to clean and safe water and the transformation that has happened here at Chileka is a step towards realising that goal.”
BWB board chairperson James Naphambo, speaking in an interview, said the project has three components, including three water reservoirs, the pumping station and Walker’s Ferry where the water is taken to the pumping station.
He said: “The water reservoirs were already completed, the pumping station is the one we were commissioning here and the next to be finished is the Walker’s Ferry.
“When works at Walker’s Ferry are completed, the board will be able to increase its water intake from a production capacity of 78 million litres per day to 96 million litres per day and with that, we will be able to serve the people of Blantyre with water.”
The Chileka Pumping Station project was financed with six million euros (about K3.5 billion) from the World Bank and it involved replacement of the old pumping equipment with new ones as well as power upgrade. The works were undertaken by WPIL Limited from India.