The Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) is set to borrow US $35.7m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for water projects in Southern Malawi in some parts of Southern Malawi including Balaka and Liwonde; in order to meet the growing demand. The loan was approved by parliament during its recent mid year budget review meeting.
The project is expected to commence in March 2022 and will be completed in August 2023. Once done, SRWB will not only be able to supply water to 150 000 people but also be able to meet the demand by 2050.
Water problems in Southern Malawi
According to SRWB acting chief executive officer Duncan Chambamba, such water projects in Southern Malawi are long over due. “The situation has been so pathetic especially in Liwonde where residents almost held demonstrations against the board for its failure to supply water for both domestic and commercial use,” he said. He further added that, in most cases residents experience dry taps for better part of the day despite efforts to pump water into reservoirs or tanks before supplying them.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Felix Mlusu has justified the decision by government to allow SRWB borrow the money from the EIB. According to him, the loan is very crucial as it will allow the board to carry out such huge projects which will enable people in the two districts access safe and potable water. “This is a soft loan with an interest rate of about 1.5% and will be paid in 20 years with a five year grace period,” he said.
He further revealed that part of the financial resources will be used for the establishment of a power plant by SRWB hence enabling the institution diversify its operations and increase its revenue.