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African Development Bank, European Union to fund Diamphwe Dam construction

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Government says the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU) have shown interest in financing the multibillion Diamphwe Dam project following the decision by the World Bank to abandon it.

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe told Parliament Tuesday the discussions on the matter with the new financiers were expected to take place Wednesday.

Gondwe was answering questions from the backbenchers on why the government abandoned the project which was aimed at increasing water supply in Dedza and other surrounding districts.

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“The World Bank withdrew because of its own policies. They no longer fund construction of dams. It’s nothing to do with the government; it has to do with the World Bank’s new policies, they are not interested in dams,” Gondwe said.

He, however, said the World Bank has offered to buy pipes for the project and the issue was to be tabled Wednesday when government officials meet the new financiers of the project.

The minister also told the House that the government would work on both Salima-Lilongwe Water and Diamphwe Dam projects, saying the controversial Salima-Lilongwe Water Project is a long-term project which would provide water to Lilongwe and surrounding districts both for domestic use and irrigation.

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He said the Diamphwe Dam project was very important and relevant for short-term benefits.

However, Balaka West Member of Parliament Patricia Dzimbiri suggested that water boards should be unbundled, as was the case with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi, to make them more efficient and effective.

But Gondwe ruled out the possibility of unbundling water boards, saying the government would make them more efficient and effective through other means.

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