Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources says the growing demand for potable water in Lilongwe city has forced her Ministry to revisit some of the unfinished water projects such as the Salima-Lilongwe Waterway project.
Responsible Minister Nancy Tembo disclosed that government will initiate discussions with concerned stakeholders with the aim of seeing that the project materialises.
She bemoaned citizen’s lack of access to clean potable water hence the need to revamp the multimillion dollar project.
“There’s going to be more people needing this water and if we call ourselves a developed country people have to have access to safe clean water
“And so there is other projects that are looking at you’ve heard of the Salima-Lilongwe Waterworks Project and the Diamphwe projects these are projects that are looking ahead planning ahead for the eventual growth of our population.
”We will initiate the discussions between Lilongwe Water Board and Khato Civils. We need that project,” explained Tembo.
According to the Lilongwe Water Board, only a small percent of Lilongwe residents have access clean and potable water.
The Board which currently serves about 90,000 households against a demand beyond 100,000 is diversifying ways to have increased supply of water to meet the demand.
The K400 billion Salima-Lilongwe Water Project halted due to reasons the contractor Khato Civils in his 22 February interview with Zodiak Broadcasting Services deemed political.
During the interview, Simbi Phiri faulted the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government for its lack of seriousness and non-compliance on the contractual obligations and warned that it cannot just come out of it without any consequences.
The Khatho chairperson viewed the project as a national one with millions of dollars invested involving 142 engineers who came to Malawi for two and a half years conducting surveys.
He insisted that there is no way a project could be cancelled without government paying.
“There is no way of getting out of this project without paying because we’ve already spent money there is no chance.
“It’s not going to happen; there is no way. Mwanamvekha should know he can’t run away from it the country has to pay,” charged Simbi
The business tycoon bemoaned the attitude towards the venture and disclosed that he had no choice but to sue government as he had to recover his money.
Phiri acknowledged that contestation is healthy and expected in contracts but branded the Malawi transaction as the most horrible one.