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MINISTRY REFUTES CLOSURE OF KAMUZU BARRAGE RUMOUR

By Bishop Witmos MANA

Ministry of Water and Sanitation has refuted circulating rumours that the rising water levels in Shire River and Lake Malawi have contributed to the closure of Kamuzu Barrage at Liwonde in Machinga District.

Speaking on Friday in Mangochi District, Deputy Minister in the Ministry, Liana Kakhobwe Chapota said the barrage has never been closed, but that water levels currently passing through Kamuzu Barrage downstream are more in volume than was the case last year.

“Let me emphasize that we have not and won’t ever close the Barrage at Liwonde. If it were closed, the country would not have been able to generate electricity,” said Chapota.

She said as of April last year, water in Lake Malawi increased by 475.3 meters and this year it has risen by 475.89 meters.

In his remarks, Board Chairperson for Natural Water Resources Authority, Engineer James Mambulu said the levels of water in Lake Malawi are likely to increase in the coming months.

Cementing on the matter, Sub Traditional Authority Chiwalo called upon his subordinates at Nkope, whose villages have currently been submerged in water, to relocate to upper land before another disaster occurs.

Some of the notable figures who accompanied the Deputy Minister included Member of Parliament for Mangochi Monkey Bay Ralph Jooma, Traditional Authority Mapira and other government officials.

Kamuzu Barrage was constructed to regulate the flow of water from Lake Malawi to Shire River for proper generation of hydro power.

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