Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has commissioned its Mzuzu Water System to increase access to water supply within the city and surrounding areas.
With the new water system, the board is expected to supply water to a population of 55 400 people in Ekwendeni and 345 450 within Mzuzu City.
In an interview, the board’s chairperson James Munthali said before the project, the board was rationing water in most areas in the city, including supply to its own Kawiluwilu House.
“We have also expanded supply to peri-urban areas,” he said.
However, Munthali said the expansion works will drain more water from its Lunyangwa Dam; hence, if the board does not find another water source, the city can experience water shortage in future.
He also said the board is sourcing funds for the construction of Lambi Lambi Dam in Viphya Plantation in Mzimba District.
“The project needs approximately $150 million [about K1.1 billion],” said Munthali.
The board’s director of infrastructure Catherine Mwafulirwa said NRWB has been using the new system since February this year.
In random interviews, residents hailed the project, saying they were not pleased with intermittent water supply.
Atikonda Jere from Zolozolo said water was a basic necessity, especially during this time of Covid-19.
“It is difficult to practise hygiene without clean water,” he said.
The board engaged Sawa Group Limited to construct Ekwendeni Water Treatment Plant and Mzuzu Reservoir in 2019.
The European Investment Bank-funded project is expected to boost NRWB’s capacity to supply water in the city and surrounding areas.