The World Bank has, through International Development Association (Ida), approved an additional $45 million (about K45.5 billion) for the implementation of the Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project (LWSP).
Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is implementing the project, whose initial financing was $100 million.
The approval of the additional financing, which now brings the total financing of the project to $145 million, is contained in a communication from World Bank Country Manager for Malawi and the Eastern and Southern Africa Region, Hugh Riddell, to Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe.
“We are pleased to notify you that the association confirms the conditions of effectiveness of the Financing Agreement have been met. Consequently, the Financing Agreement and the Project Agreement become effective today, June 13 2022,” the communication reads.
Project Task Team Leader for the bank, Odete Muximpua, commended the government and LWB for ably implementing the project.
“I would like to commend the Government of Malawi and Lilongwe Water Board, implementers of this project, for ensuring that financing effectiveness is attained within the prescribed timeframe,” she said.
With the additional financing, LWSP is targeting to reach out to 500,000 people with safely managed water services and another 500,000 people with safely managed sanitation services in the City of Lilongwe.
LWB Chief Executive Officer Silli Mbewe said the financing will enable the board to fully meet LWSP objectives.
“Under the project, and with Lilongwe City boundaries extending, LWB will be in a position to expand its water distribution network to as far as Nanjiri in the East, Mpingu in the West, Bunda in the South, Dzenza in the North and Nalikule in the Northwest,” he said.
Key activities under the LWSP are the provision of water supply pipes to Malingunde, construction of automated e-Madzi kiosks in the peri-urban areas of Lilongwe City and the provision of 14,700 free new water household connections. LWB is also rehabilitating and upgrading some of its ageing infrastructures and constructing four storage reservoirs with an additional 8,800 cubic meters of water storage capacity.
Mbewe also said the project will bring in solar-powered pumping stations that will allow LWB to continue supplying water to its customers in times of power outages to avoid negative effects on its main treatment plants.