1.2 million Malawians to benefit
WASHINGTON, June 2, 2011 – An additional 1.2 million Malawians are set to have improved access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services by 2015, courtesy of US$120million financial support from the World Bank. This will increase the number of Malawians benefiting from new or improved water supply and sanitation services through the National Water Development Program from one million in 2010 to 2.2 million in 2015.
The funds approved by the World Bank Board today, consist of a $95 million concessional credit and a $25 million grant to be provided as additional financing (AF) to the second National Water Development Program. The Bank support comes in response to a March 2011 request by the Malawi Government for help to address the growing demand for access to sustainable water services and for improved water resources management. This new financing is added to the World Bank supported Second National Water Development Project (NWDP II) which started in 2007 with a US$50 million credit and a US$25 million grant from the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund.
“Estimates show that at the moment about one fifth of Malawians do not have access to adequate water supply, while 44 percent do not have access to adequate sanitation. This additional support will go a long way in helping Malawi meet the Millennium DevelopmentGgoal on access to water and sanitation,” said Sandra Bloemenkamp, Country Manager for Malawi. She also said the project will provide assistance to Malawi to better manage its water resources and improve its water allocation and investments in order to facilitate growth in water-dependent economic sectors such as agriculture.
With this additional financing, the project will address water supply and sanitation across the country, in both urban and rural areas, as well as improve water resources management.
The major urban areas will include Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital which currently has persistent water shortages affecting both domestic and industrial consumers, will have a new water source designed. The Walker’s Ferry treatment plant and Chileka pumping station will also be rehabilitated. To further improve water storage capacity for the city, three storage reservoirs will be constructed at Kameza, Chilobwe and Chigumula. The Blantyre works will cost about $21million.
In the capital city Lilongwe, the additional financing will be used for Chikungu and Mtunthama water supplies, Kamuzu Dam 2, Bunda plant, and Area 9 supplies and storage tank. The project will also finance the preliminary design for the conveyance system that is needed to improve the water quality in Lilongwe. It will also design a new water source for Lilongwe. The Lilongwe activities will cost about $21.5million. Related environmental and social impact assessments will be done for both Lilongwe and Blantyre for the proposed new water sources.
In Mzuzu, the AF will upgrade and extend the distribution pipeline system to newly developed areas. The NWDPII has already constructed a storage facility for Mzuzu. The estimated cost for work in Mzuzu and Mzimba is $12.8million.
More works will also be carried out in other fast-growing town and market centers. The works will include construction of a number of water reservoirs, distribution pipelines, as well as the development of new water sources In Mzimba, a new water intake weir and related pipe work will be constructed, while Songwe (a border post market centre at the Malawi/Tanzania border) will get a new water supply system. In the Central Region, rehabilitation and expansion of water supply systems will be done at Kasungu, Mponela, Salima, and Nkhotakota. In the Southern Region, water supply schemes to benefit from the project are Zomba, Mangochi, Nsanje, and Balaka.
The rural areas will also see several rehabilitation and expansion of ten existing piped water supply schemes, namely: Chinunkha, Ifumbo, Chapananga, Misuku, Nkhamanga, Lizulu, Ntonda, Chikwawa East Bank, and Mpira-Balaka. Close to a quarter million people will benefit from these improvements.
Sanitation and hygiene is another key component of the additional financing. With this financing, both Blantyre and Lilongwe Water Boards will continue implementing the sanitation campaign they launched in March 2011. The campaign is expected to scale up and increase the adoption of latrine options by residents of the peri-urban areas of the two cities. A significant school sanitation program will be carried out in Dedza district which has the lowest coverage in the country.
The various activities under the additional financing will be implemented by all the water boards and the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development. Under this project the Ministry will also conduct an aerial survey of the Lower Shire River for flood risk management to help mitigate the negative impacts of flooding on livelihoods and community assets.
The NWPDII Additional Financing Project is expected to close in October 2015. In addition to the World Bank, Malawi’s National Water Development Program is also supported by the African Development Bank, European Union, European Investment Bank, Australian Aid, UNICEF, OPEC Fund, and the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund. The Additional Financing will continue to actively support greater coordination between the Government and the Development Partners and further explore the potential for a Sector Wide Approach. The Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project is Michael Webster.