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Government, World Bank sign agreement

The government and the World Bank have signed a financing agreement of the Lilongwe Water and Sanitation project expected to commence soon.

World Bank is financing the project to the tune of $100 million.

The project will, among other things, maintain and upgrade the 142 kilometre existing distribution network.

The project will also expand the water distribution network by about 186 kilometres to areas of the city not currently served with piped water.

The funds will also go towards improving sanitation in the city through the rehabilitation and expansion of a sewerage network of 107 kilometres and the Kauma sewage treatment plant.

World Bank Country Manager, Greg Toulmin, emphasised the need for the authorities to treat the project with the seriousness it deserves, stressing that implementation is key in any development.

“Implementation is the most important part. The World Bank has been a long-standing and valued partner in the Malawi water sector for more than 20 years. This project we have just signed, is the latest testament to our commitment,” Toulmin said.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, asked chief executive officers of the Lilongwe Water Board and the Lilongwe City Council to take maintenance as a top priority.

“We had excellent facilities in the country when we became independent. Now we are back to square one because senior people like you did not take maintenance to be one of the most important things,” Gondwe said.

Lilongwe Water Board Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Chikuni, said the board will look at developing and enhancing its capability to maintain and look into the future to avert the occurrence of the current state of affairs in water supply in the city.

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