Lilongwe City residents will benefit from improved access to quality water services following the European Investment Bank (EIB)’s approval of a 15 million euro (about K14.4 billion) loan to finance the construction of an additional water treatment plant for Lilongwe City.
Government has secured the funds for Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) to construct a third water treatment plant at its waterworks in Area 3 to service current and future water demand.
A statement issued by LWB stated that water production for the city will increase by 50 000 cubic metres (m3)per day from the current 125 000m3/day to 175 000m3/day.
Reads the statement in part: “This additional production will result in increased hours of supply from 16 hours to 24 hour a day.”
The statement also quotes Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu as having said that government welcomes the partnership with the EIB through the provision of vital financing for development projects in Malawi.
He said: “The financing towards the third water treatment plant under LWB has come at the right time as it will help the board to provide potable water to the growing urban population in Lilongwe City and surrounding areas.”
Lilongwe faces water supply challenges due to dwindling water resources, lack of finances for infrastructure development, and aging water systems.
Meanwhile, also with funding from EIB, LWB is implementing the Lilongwe Water Resource Efficiency Program through which it is rehabilitating and raising the Kamuzu Dam 1 by seven metres to secure water resources to 2025.
LWB acting chief executive officer Silli Mbewe said the construction of the third water treatment plant is critical following the upgrading of Kamuzu Dam 1.
“Once completed, water production will increase to 175 000m3/day at an assurance level of between 96 and 97 percent. This would mean that we will be able to abstract and treat an additional 50 000m3/day which is enough to meet the growing demand,” he said.
LWB currently has two water treatment plants with a combined production capacity of 125 000m3/day.
The new water treatment plant is a medium-term intervention whose feasibility and preliminary design studies were done in 2016.