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EU pledges support to access safe water

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European Union Head of Delegation to Malawi, Ambassador Marchel Gerrmann, on Tuesday toured Blantyre Water Board’s (BWB) Walkers Ferry rehabilitation works of Blantyre Water Board where he pledged to continue supporting access to safe drinking water and sanitation projects in the country.

Gerrmann said his organisation will have reached about 1.5 million people in Malawi with safe drinking water in the next two and half years.

According to the ambassador, European Union has already provided access to safe water to 750,000 in Blantyre and Lilongwe, and also provided sanitary issues to 450,000 people.

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“I am very pleased today that the plant is almost at full capacity and those problems the people of Blantyre were facing over the years will be something of the past. I am happy and grateful that EU [European Union] and European Investment Bank contributed about five million Euros towards this cause to improve water supply at Walkers Ferry.

“We believe access to safe water and sanitation is extremely important for health. If you don’t have access to clean water then you will have health risk. In addition, women spend most time fetching water from unprotected sources, hence affecting girl-child education. But in the coming two and half years, EU will provide access to safe drinking water to another 750,000 people in Malawi,” disclosed Gerrmann.

Board Chairperson, James Naphambo, thanked EU for funding the project, saying it has enhanced water production from 78 million litres to about 105 million litres a day.

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“At the moment, the demand of water is estimated at 96 million litres, but we are at 100 million litres and we should be able to satisfy our consumers. We have installed everything — eight pumps at intake and another eight at the high lift. What we are doing now is the test in the production to ensure that we can run all the pumps at the same time should it be necessary,” said Naphambo, but could not disclose when they are commissioning the project.

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