05 August 2020
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Saturday, 25 August 2018 11:48

Government asks communities to conserve forest for potable water

Written by  McCarthy Mwalwimba
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development , Joseph Mwanamvekha (left) congratulates NRWB's Chair REV Howard Matiya Nkhoma Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development , Joseph Mwanamvekha (left) congratulates NRWB's Chair REV Howard Matiya Nkhoma pic by McCarthy Mwalwimba

Mzimba, August 25, 2018. Mana: Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha has asked people around the newly rehabilitated and upgraded Mzimba water supply system to conserve Chikangawa forest to sustain the potable water source.

He was speaking Thursday at Machecheta in the district after touring the Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project to check progress.

The Minister said government was impressed that Northern Region Water Board’s (NRWB) initiated project would be completed ahead of schedule.

 “This is an excellent job and I would like to thank NRWB management and contractors for the good job.

“Let me ask all contractors to emulate SAWA Group. Many contractors delay projects with several months or years,” Mwanamvekha said.

Initially, it was planned that it would finish in June, 2019 but the contractor, SAWA Group, says it will finish by October 21, 2018, eight months before planned closure.

The project includes upgrading water treatment plant and transmission lines, construction of four reservoirs and two booster stations to the tune of US$ 18.45 million (K13.4 billion) from African Development Bank (AfDB), OFID and Malawi Government.

It includes provision of public sanitation facilities at Mzimba Boma, namely, at the district hospital, market and five schools, among others.

Once the project is completed, it is expected to expand customer base to between 65, 000 and 75, 000 for many years to come.

To sustain the water supply system, the minister appealed to surrounding communities to guard against cutting down of trees in Chikangawa forest.

“Let me tell communities around this water system here that this water comes from Chikangawa forest. If we are going to cut down trees, water levels will go down and affect supply.

“So, I ask all people including chiefs and stakeholders in environmental protection to take part in conserving the forest so that we should utilize the water source for many years to come,” Mwanamvekha said.

Apart from finishing ahead of planned schedule, NRWB has saved US$2.6 million (K1.8 billion) from the project which will be spent on other related important projects.

NRWB’s Chairperson Reverend, Howard Matiya Nkhoma hailed government, management and the contractor for coordinated efforts saying they have helped to implement the project efficiently and within schedule.

“I’m impressed with the way work is taking place here. It’s so wonderful. This is the way things should go. It’s our responsibility to move Malawi forward behind leadership of the country.

“This will give respect to the country, its leadership and the financiers of the project,” he said.


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