Malawi government Tuesday endorsed Northern Region Water Board (NRWB)’s 2015-2020 strategic plan which will need K1 billion for its implementation in the first year.
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Principal Secretary Sandramu Maweru said government welcomed and endorsed the plan because it reflected President Peter Mutharika’s priority of ensuring that all Malawians have access to potable water.
Maweru challenged the Board to go beyond its current 80 percent of people that have access to its water to 100 percent so that the entire region has potable and safe water within the recommended distances of 200 metres in urban and 500 metres in rural areas.
He pledged government’s support to the Board for the successful implementation of the plan.
NRWB Chief Executive Officer Titus Mtegha disclosed in an interview that the Board has earmarked four key priorities.
“The first priority is customer and community satisfaction and the second is delivery of high-quality water services that are cost-effective and comply with regulatory requirements.
“Our third priority is business excellence and the last key area is what we are calling beyond now, meaning that we commit ourselves to plan for a sustainable future that takes care of our physical and natural assets as well as social issues for the benefit of current and future generations,” said Mtegha.
One of the challenges facing the NRWB, which both Maweru and Mtegha cited, was the low-supply of water by its main Lunyangwa Dam.
Mtegha disclosed that the Board asked Treasury for US1 Million in the 2015/2016 National Budget which Parliament is currently debating towards the construction of its US$100 million new dam in Chikangawa for Mzuzu City residents.
“That was the amount we proposed to government. We are yet to see what happens. The money is for initial designs for the dam project,” said Mtegha.
Since 1996 when it was established, NRWB has now connected 40, 000 customers and is now boasting of an annual turnover of about K3 billion from K2 million 19 years ago. The board plans to connect 10, 000 more customers in the 2015- 2016 year.
“We have 20 percent of customers that we are not serving. Our ambitious plan is to give potable water to all,” said Mtegha.
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