Saturday, April 13, 2024

Under Chakwera administration, K7.6 billion Nyika water project ready by June

The contractor responsible for the Nyika Water Project, designed to harness water from the Runyina River in Nyika National Park and distribute it to communities around the Nyika/Vyaza conservation area, has announced that the project is slated for completion by June 2024.

During a joint monitoring visit conducted by officials from the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Rumphi District Council on Friday, Timothy Bertrand, the Regional Manager for the contractor, HE Jackson Engineering, made this declaration.

Bertrand attributed some delays in the project to logistical challenges with imports, noting that certain pipes for the project had been held up at the Dar es Salaam Port for a month due to congestion at the port.

He emphasized that upon its conclusion, the project aims to provide water to approximately 18,000 people by 2024 and up to 33,000 by 2044.

Emmanuel Bulukutu, the District Commissioner for Rumphi, highlighted that the Nyika Water Project stands as one of the principal water initiatives being executed in the district by the Malawi Government and its collaborating partners.

Expressing optimism, he anticipated a significant enhancement in water accessibility within the targeted regions.

“We cannot talk of achieving the Malawi 2063 aspirations of becoming a self-reliant wealthy nation without water provision. These are the projects that will take us there. This will provide portable water for our people.

“We also had many Cholera cases around Kamphenda, Lusani, Mwazisi and Kazuni due to lack of access to clean and portable water. That will soon be a thing of the past,” he said.

Principal Parks and Wildlife Officer in the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Catherine Chunga, was impressed with the quality of works and was optimistic the project will be completed within the revised timeframe.

Senior Chief Mpherembe of Mzimba, whose area will also benefit from the project, said people in the targeted areas were struggling to access clean and portable water, with some using untreated water from Rukuru River, increasing health risks such as Cholera outbreaks.

The US$4.5 million (approximately K7.6 billion) project, which is funded by the Republic of Germany through KFW and is managed by Peace Parks Foundation, was launched by Minister of Tourism, Vera Kamtukule in April 2023, was initially expected to be completed by March, 2024.

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