Karonga Water Supply and Sanitation Project Updates, Malawi

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The Karonga Water Supply Project in Malawi which entails the repair and upgrade of existing water delivery infrastructure and the extension of pipe to nearby communities, will not be able to be completed and handed over to the government within the agreed-upon time frame.

The contractor China State Construction Engineering Coop Ltd (CSCEC), recently stated that they will complete the US$ 15.6M project after September of this year without providing a specific timeframe.

Reasons for the postponement

According to CSCEC, the delivery of the project was postponed due to the failure by other parties to provide ‘excellent service delivery”. However, it is said that the cooperation was slow in mobilizing human and physical resources, such as a shortage of human labor and suitable machinery, and this is why the project has advanced at a snail’s pace for no apparent reason.

The delay is also attributed partly to bad working conditions, which demoralize personnel. When asked to provide their side of the story, China State Construction Engineering Coop Ltd officials remained evasive and declined to respond.

The implementation of the Karonga Water Supply Project began in October 2020 and was scheduled to be finished in May 2022.

Reported earlier

April 2021

Karonga Water Supply and Sanitation Project Updates, Malawi to be delivered in May 2022

The US $26.7m Karonga Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Malawi is set to be delivered in May 2022. According to Vice President Saulos Chilima, the deadline must be met to ensure that issues of erratic water supply are a thing of the past in the district.

The project which aims at rehabilitating and upgrading the existing Karonga Town water supply systems and extending the distribution pipe network to the surrounding areas was initiated after the failure by current Karonga water supply system to provide reliable water supply and meet demand as it can only provide 12,400 m3 per day, while the current demand is about 16,700 m3/day.

The water supply system at Karonga town currently provides water to 45,776 people against the current estimated population of 97,500 people. It is projected that by the year 2035, Karonga town shall have about 184,000 people.

Karonga Water Supply and Sanitation project

The much anticipate water project is co-financed by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) US $10m, the OPEC FUND for International Development (OFID) US $15m, and the Government of Malawi which will cover the rest.

OFID, which is not making its first investment in Malawi’s drinking water sector, has lent US $12m to the government for the Nkhata Bay Water Supply and Sanitation Project in the eastern part of the country. The project is also funded by the African Development Fund (ADF). The US $15m that the financial institution will provide for the project will be channeled through the African Development Bank (AfDB).

This mobilization will allow the construction of a new drinking water plant in Nkhata Bay. Pipelines will also be installed to supply the reservoirs that will allow drinking water to be distributed to the city’s population. For the sanitation component, a wastewater treatment plant will be built in the Town of Nkhata Bay.