Mega water project commences in April
Amid controversy rocking the multimillion dollar project to pipe water from Lake Malawi to Lilongwe, construction, engineering and infrastructure development consortium Khato Civils and South Zambezi says it is ready to implement the project with actual ground work set to commence by April 2017.
The group, which is based in South Africa, has confirmed that it has already started work including designing, equipment mobilisation and sites reservation works under instructions from its client, the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB).
The project is earmarked to run for 24 months.
According to tender documents seen by The Daily Times, the project is expected to be complete within the planned period of 730 days.
However, Khato Civils and South Zambezi Group Chief Executive, Mongezi Mnyani, expressed optimism to complete the assignment within 16 months.
Addressing Malawian journalists on a tour of some projects being done by the business in South Africa, Mnyani said the company eyes to effect
change in livelihoods of the project’s beneficiaries.
“We have the capacity to manage the project within 16 months and all factors considered, we will start the actual work on the ground between April and May this year,” he said.
He said the project is set to stimulate the economy with capacity to create over 4,000 jobs and create
vibrant, equitable and sustainable communities when completed.
The project is worth $500 million and is set to initiate tapping of water from Lake Malawi in Salima to the Capital City, Lilongwe which has had persistent water woes for years.
In a separate interview, Khato Civils and South Zambezi Group Chairman, Simbi Phiri, said the business has invested heavily in technology and heavy machinery for the project.
He said the company has already started ferrying the machinery to the earmarked project sites from its headquarters in South Africa.
“The project will need heavy machine operators, drivers, engineers, and we have invested in all the required areas to ensure quality work,” he said.
He said for instance, the business has invested in two cutting-edge Tesmec Trenchers able to dig trenches over a stretch of 2km per day.
According to Phiri, the machinery will be run using solar, wind as well as battery power.
Khato Civils Pty and South Zambezi Ltd Jv, who are Khato’s engineering consultants, emerged successful bidders in a Restricted Tendering process.
Apart from the Lake Malawi Water Supply Source for Lilongwe City, Khato is also carrying out other water and sanitation projects in South Africa.
There is a R5 billion Greater Giyan Municipality water project which its pipeline would cover 324 kilometers.
Khato Operations Manager, Hein Smit, said the company has completed almost 82 percent of the pipe laying and fittings.
“We believe in delivering quality project work and we have a reputation that our projects finish in time,” he said.