Lilongwe-Salima Water Project Commence

Ministry of Water Sanitation has said work on the Lilongwe-Salima Water Project has started.

On Thursday, Ministry of Water and Sanitation Principal Secretary Elias Chimulambe said this follows President Lazarus Chakwera’s assent to Bill No. 6 of 2024: NBS Bank plc and National Bank of Malawi Plc (Lake Malawi Water Supply Project) Loan (Authorisation).

According to the PS, the development allows the two banks to lend the government K105 billion for the project to be undertaken by Khato Civils (Pty) Limited.

Said Chimulambe: “Now that we have the finances, we have started the project, things are moving well. We have a working schedule with the contractor.

“We are finalising the mobilisation of equipment, materials and have done quite a lot of things required to start a big project like this one.”

He said the project’s scope has now changed from supporting Lilongwe Water Board as it has been extended to Central Region Water Board, mega-farms programme, and other water users along the way.

In May, the Supreme Court of Appeal said the two banks can proceed to lend government the money, thereby lifting an order sought by Forum for National Development (FND) stopping the process.

Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda and FND lawyer Edgar Kachere confirmed, in separate interviews on Thursday, that the banks were free to disburse the loans for the project.

Earlier, Khato Civils spokesperson Daniel Mababa said the contractor was mobilising resources and machinery after government assured them of the availability of money to roll out the project.

In April 2023, Parliament passed the Financial Bill No. 11 of 2023 to allow government borrow K105 billion from local banks to finance the $315 million (about K552 billion) project that was awarded to Khato Civils (Pty) Ltd and South Zambezi joint venture.

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