Malawi set to renew water systems in Lilongwe

The Lilongwe Water Board in Malawi is looking to save upto US $770,000 which the company has been losing due to water wastage caused by old pipes which were bursting due to vandalism.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for LWB, Engineer Alfonso Chikuni, the board has been losing a lot of money because the pipes have not been replaced for a long time.

With the aim of improving water supply and hygiene within Lilongwe City, LWB will embark on a project which will cost over US $100m on Water and Sanitation This project will not provide additional water sources. However, it will rehabilitate and renew water systems in the city.

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The Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project is one of the investments under the broader Lilongwe Water Program- which is the Board’s medium-term investment plan.

The Program consists of a series of investment projects designed to address the immediate and medium term water and sanitation needs, and support a long-term solution to Lilongwe City’s growing demand for improved water services and safely manage sanitation services. The Project is going to benefit about half a million residents.

Systems upgrade

Upon completion, the project will improve the systems hydraulic capacity and reduce losses by ten percentage points. Two thirds of the project funds will help rehabilitate and expand the water distribution network. This will include construction of 27km of transmission mains and associated pumping stations and storage reservoirs.

Sanitation is another area which will improve once the project is complete. Only about 5% of the population of Lilongwe city is under a sewer system; majority depends on onsite sanitation systems such as pit latrines and septic tanks.

There will be further support to construct 8,000 improved sanitation facilities. These will benefit about 160,000 people from poor and vulnerable households. Sanitation improvements will also cover some markets and schools.

Sanitation improvements will take up to about one fifth of the project funds.

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