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30,000 Chitipa residents to have water in one year

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Water problems will continue haunting government services at Chitipa District Council for the next one year until Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) completes its US$13 million (K8.853 billion) by the end of this year.

Chitipa District Commissioner, Grace Chirwa, on Tuesday admitted that water scarcity is a big challenge in her district and that government services at the district hospital are compromised because of the challenge.

She was speaking in an interview when Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Allan Chiyembekeza, visited Chitipa Water Supply System Project which stretches from Kalenge River in the district. When completed, 30, 000 people will have access to safe and potable water.

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Chirwa said: “We are impressed with the progress of the project. You will note that Chitipa is in problems in terms of water. We access water very rarely. Other areas probably take two weeks to get water. With the coming in of the project, as a district we are thankful to government for the support we are getting.”

Asked how the water problem affects core government services, Chirwa said: “It is really affecting the services. You can just imagine at the district hospital where water is a requirement, but you will note that they also experience the

hardship. So, the provision of this water will alleviate the problem we are facing as a district. It is not only the district hospital but other departments.”

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Resident Engineer from Metaferia Consulting Engineers Plc told Chiyembekeza that 30 percent of the work has been completed. The project targets to serve about 30 000 and projected to serve 40 000 in 2025 and about 47 000 in 2030.

The project is being funded by Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea) and the Government of Malawi to the tune of US$13 million. Work started on July 1 2015 and is expected to finish by December 31 2016.

In his remarks, Chiyembekeza commended the contractor for the progress of the project. He said he was happy to see that all pipes were brought to the pipeline ready to be fitted.

NRWB Chairperson, Peter Mwanza, said one of the Board’s strategic goals is to provide water to many areas in the region.

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