By Memory Chatonda MANA
World Bank has disbursed $145 million grant (close to K150 billion) for the implementation of Water and Sanitation Project.
The project which will be implemented by Blantyre Water Board (BWB) seeks to address water, sanitation and solid waste management challenges, which, if not resolved, could lead to public health crisis.
Speaking during the project signing ceremony in Blantyre on Thursday, the Bank’s Managing Director of Operations, Anna Bjerde, said the project aims to benefit about 400,000 people within BWB catchment area with improved water, sanitation and solid waste management services.
In his remarks, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said the grant will finance the rehabilitation and upgrading of Mudi intake and water treatment plant, rehabilitation and upgrading of sewer network, and construction of sanitation facilities.
Gwengwe described the project as a game changer to Malawi’s water and sanitation sector and advised BWB to ensure that the financial resources are used for the intended purpose.
Minister of Water and Sanitation Abida Mia said the project will make a great difference, observing that the current statistics indicate that the water coverage is at 70 percent, sanitation at 30 percent, and hygiene at 8 percent.
Meanwhile, World Bank has called for strong, efficient and effective implementation of the project to meet the project key indicators that could eventually enable Malawi to qualify for additional financing.