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Blantyre Water Board lauds partnership with Japan water bureau

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By Isaac Salima:

FOR ACCESS TO POTABLE WATER— BWB and Yokohama officials

Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has said the relationship between Malawi and Japan has contributed to improved service delivery in the water and sanitation sector.

Blantyre Water Board Director of Distribution and Commerce, Verson Kafodya, said this on Wednesday when officials welcomed Japanese volunteers who are in the country to offer technical expertise to BWB staff.

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From 2013, BWB has been in partnership with Japan’s Yokohama Water works Bureau, under Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), which has seen the two countries engage in exchange visits.

Welcoming a group of volunteers following the latest three-year agreement the two water board signed last year, Kafodya said the partnership has benefitted Malawi “immensely”.

“BWB partnered Yokohama Water Works Bureaus because the two water bodies share a common background. Yokohama had a problem with non-revenue water but they successfully brought the level down. As such, we partnered them so that we can learn from them in our efforts to improve revenue collection,” Kafodya said.

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He said, in terms of non-revenue water, BWB could register rates as high as 45 percent but it has managed to reduce the figure to 39 percent.

Kafodya attributed the feat to technical expertise from the Japanese.

“We are making strides, thanks to technical expertise we get from these experts. The consumer is also benefitting because, if we are not making losses, we may not be asking for frequent tariff adjustments,” Kafodya said.

JICA Malawi Office Volunteers Coordinator, Goto Akira, said the partnership is beneficial to both countries.

“The purpose of the agreement is to benefit both countries. There are other areas that BWB is doing well in and we may learn from them as well,” Goto said.

This is the third group of volunteers to come to Malawi since the two water bodies signed the partnership. The current agreement will run up to 2020.

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