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Mulanje Mountain has enough water— Blantyre Water Board

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The Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has said there is adequate water in Mulanje Mountain that will supplement the volumes required to supply to Blantyre.

BWB Public Relations Officer, Priscilla Mateyu, made the remarks after Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Environmental and Natural Resources, Werani Chilenga, argued in Parliament in November that there are some studies that are indicating that Mulanje Mountain runs out of water for the good part of the year.

He could not disclose his reference points.

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“The problem with BWB is not the scarcity of water, it has plenty of water in the Shire River but it is lacking expertise to maximising its water intake. Mulanje Mountain does not have water which can be tapped to Blantyre, it only has water during the four months of the rain season, by August if we continue tapping that water, taps will be dry,” said Chilenga.

But Mateyu while conceding that the flow rates of the planned river becomes low in September, October and November said the mountain has plenty of water for the good part of the year.

“The planned rivers have very high flow rates in the months of January, February, March, April and May. So on average, we can say there is plenty of water but what lacks is water harvesting structures currently to even the flow rates of the rivers under consideration,” said Mateyu.

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Mateyu said the board plans to implement the project in phases. The first phase, for instance, she said will be a water conveyance system to Blantyre.

“The second phase will be the construction of water harvesting infrastructures such as a dam to ensure sustainability of the flow and the project. Currently, the board has started planting trees on Chambe Basin to tackle deforestation,” she said.

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