Southern Region Water Board

In its quest to supply quality and safe piped water to urban and peri-urban areas of the southern part of Malawi, Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) has embarked on a multi-billion kwacha upgrading of Water Treatment and Supply Project for Chikwawa Scheme under Ngabu Zone in Chikwawa district.

The project is funded by the Shire Valley Transformation Proramme (SVTP) which is currently constructing a 133 kilometer canal from which the Board is expected to have its water intake.

Through the shire valley transformation progrsamme (SVTP), Malawi government not only aims at boosting agricultural production and increased productivity by helping smallholder farmers get a better harvest and healthy livestock to sell at both domestic and international markets, but also heavily improve water and sanitation through the supply of piped water to communities in northern part of Chikwawa district.

Speaking during the site handover meeting at Mthumba Community Day Secondary School (CDSS), in Chikwawa, Planning and Development Manager for SRWB, Eng. Andrew Kacheyo, said once completed, the project will achieve improved livilihoods in terms of reduction of water borne diseases as well as accessing people with high alkaline free water.

Shire Valley Transformation Programme has contracted Sinohydro, a Chinese engineering and construction company which executes large-and medium-scale hydropower projects to construct the Water Treatment Plant with consultancy services from the Korea Rural Community Cooperation (KRC).

The treatment plant will comprise the intake works, 300m rising main pipe, mixing chamber, flocculator, Clarifier, Filters, Pump house, Steel panel tank (300m³) which translates into 500,000 liters of water, Transmission pipeline (4500m), Sludge pond, Operator office, 3 staff houses and a Dosing room.

Chief Engineer for Sinohydro, Li Jian said construction works of the project will commence on 10 May 2024 with the completion date estimated at September 2025. “Construction works will be done in three stages, the first stage will see us upgrading the access road from the main tarmac road to the site and also construction of a treatment plant. The second stage, depending on the timely disbursement of funds from our employer, Shire Valley Transformation Project, will cater for the pump, pipe and other water pumping related equipment, the final stage will be the actual completion of the project,” added Jian.

He further called on Southern Region Water Board to facilitate acquisition of land on which the main pipe will be constructed from the treatment plant to the supply areas.

Representing government on the meeting was Deputy Director in the Department of Water Supply, Ministry of Water and Sanitaion, Eng. John Chingawale who stressed on the importance of the project by reminding the Contractor on the need to deliver the job on time as government is keen to see the project come to its fruition.

Chingawale added by calling on local communities to embrace the project by desisting from theft and vandalizing of construction equipment as doing so would be to the detrimental to the project thereby rendering it inefficient to achieve its intended goals.

Speaking during his turn, Ward Councilor for Ndalama Ward, Chikwawa North, Clement Kamoto, welcomed the development and said it will bring to and end decades long problem of piped water to people in the constituency.

He appealed to the contractor to work with local communities in harmony and adhere to all prevailing labour related laws and ensure smooth execution of the project.

About 50 villages under five Group Village Heads in Traditional Authority Katunga’s area are expected to directly benefit from the project.

Southern Region Water Board is one of the statutory corporation instituted company which was established under the Waterworks Act having taken over infrastructure from what used to be the District Water Supply Fund of the Ministry of Works and Water Supply in the Southern Region.

Administratively, the board has 5 Zones comprising Zomba, Liwonde, Mangochi, Mulanje, and Ngabu. These are subdivided into 25 supply areas which include Zomba, Mwanza, Chiradzulu, Namadzi, ku Chawe, Domasi, Neno, Jali, Lirangwe, Liwonde, Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Monkey Bay, Namwera, Mulanje, Thyolo, Luchenza, Muloza, Phalombe, Mikolongwe, Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Ngabu, Nsanje, Bangula, Nchalo and Chikwawa.