Speaking after a stakeholders tour of the construction and rehabilitation works of gravity fed schemes, District Commissioner for Rumphi, Fred Movete said almost all other components of the project are in final stages and are likely to beat the 2018 dead line.
The team toured Hewe and Mlowe of the five gravity fed water systems under rehabilitation through the project and work in all the areas involve construction of new intake areas, tanks, transmission lines, distribution lines and water points.
“As a council, this is very commendable and we have seen that work is progressing very well. The contractor has assured us to finish the work within the stipulated time; this means that our communities will start accessing portable water by December this year,” said Movete.
The Rumphi Water and Sanitation Projects follow the incapacitation of the current systems which fail to meet demands and water quality standards.
The Public Works Committee in the district has also added weight to the project saying it has a number of gains but appealed to local leaders to help in the protection and execution of the project.
“We have seen that some people are settling close to the catchment area which we feel is not safe because some human activities may pollute water,” observed Dadi Butawo, Chairperson for Rumphi Public Works Committee.
According to District Water Officer for Rumphi, John Chingawale the project has already achieved other three components which include drilling of 88 boreholes in the project catchment areas of Mhuju, Mlowe, Hewe, Ng’onga and Lura.
“In terms of water supply, we had a component of drilling new boreholes, all the 88 are sunk and a total of about 22 000 additional people are benefiting; right now we are working on the gravity water fed system and we are at 58 percent but we are optimistic that by December we will have additional 58 thousand people accessing portable water through the project,” said Chingawale.
The Water Development Official said before the project in 2015, water access was about 60-67 percent but the project will add the numbers to about 95 480 which will push water access to about 90 percent.
“We have got about 10 percent of population which is not served because generally some people have settled in higher areas which are difficult to provide water infrastructure while some areas along the lake might not be feasible for us to go with drilling techniques so we are exploring ways of proving that 10 percent with portable water,” he added.
Aside provision of portable water, the project has also enhanced the economic base of communities through piece works associated with the project.
This is part of the 19.5 billion Kwacha project co-funded by the African Development Bank, Nigerian Trust Fund and Malawi Government to bring potable water in Rumphi, Phalombe, Mangochi, Ntcheu and Nkhotakota districts.The whole project will end in 2019.