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World Bank to help in water challenges

TO TAKE OFF— The Lilongwe-Salima Water Project

By Wezzie Gausi

The World Bank (WB) has said it will work with the Malawi Government in addressing water challenges that Lilongwe residents are facing.

This follows a decision by the Ministry of Finance to opt for the Salima- Lilongwe Water Project over the Diamphwe Lilongwe Water Project, which WB recommended.

About three months ago, WB, which was to provide part of the funds towards implementation of the Lilongwe project, rejected the Lilongwe-Salima initiative, expressing concern over feasibility of the project whose objective was to address the problem of water shortages in Lilongwe.

The bank opted for Diamphwe Dam which, it said, would provide water for domestic use and irrigation in the Central Region.

The bank argued that it was better to invest in the construction of the multi-purpose dam but its view was not adopted by the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament.

But, in a twist to events, WB Country Manager Hugh Riddell said they were looking forward to providing support and ensuring that people enjoy uninterrupted access to water.

“We will work to prioritise projects that complement ongoing investments made by water sector institutions to secure water supply while avoiding the accumulation of non-concessional external debt or guarantees amid worsening debt sustainability,” Riddell said.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Finance officials have said they are meeting Khato Civils to map the way forward on the Salima-Lilongwe Water Project.

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