President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on Thursday outlined his ambitious plans to develop the water sector in Malawi, stressing that, beyond drinking and domestic use, access to clean water has far-reaching effects on the economic life of any community.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Mangochi Water Supply Extension Project on Thursday, Chakwera said this is why his administration has been “very aggressive in courting and securing investments in the water sector of our country”.
He said his government is currently intending to invest in a stand-alone water project at Cape Maclear; the planned Domasi Multi-Purpose Dam; the planned Thuchira Water Supply Project for improving water provision services to the people of Mulanje, Phalombe and Thyolo.
Other projects will supply water to Balaka, Zalewa, Mwanza, Neno and Makanjila.
“I want you to push for speedy progress on these projects even more than you have done here at Nkhudzi-Bay, because water is such a top priority that affects the quality of life for everyone.
“In fact, as government, we are already gearing up to reconfigure our focus areas for public spending to ensure that the limited resources we have are going towards priority areas that have the most economic and productive impact and are not wasted on consumption,” he said.
President Chakwera said he appointed Simplex Chithyola as the new Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to implement the public spending reconfiguration exercise, which he said is needed to maximize the country’s limited resources.
He lamented that some public programs that are accustomed to spending public money year after year without any productive end in sight will need to find other sources funding to continue because the country needs to accept the painful fact that it only has enough resources to spend on the things that will boost productivity and increase people’s capacity for revenue generation.
“And this Nkhudzi-Bay project is a role model of money well spent,” he said.
The commissioning of the Mangochi Water Supply Extension Project comes barely months after President Chakwera commissioned the raised and rehabilitated Kamuzu Dam 1 in Lilongwe and Nkhata Bay Water Supply Project.
Chakwera said the commissioning of the Mangochi Water Supply Extension Project is a fulfilment of his promise to the people of Mangochi that his government would improve and increase the provision of potable, safe, clean, and quality drinking water to the people in the district.
He said it did not make any sense that the people of Mangochi should continue being denied access to the water they see around them every day due to the lack of investment in systems for the treatment and distribution of water.
“I am happy that we have finally given the people of Mangochi the water they deserve. A moment ago, I interacted with some of the beneficiaries of this project from Mwanyama Village, and it was clear to me that this was a worthy investment. The benefits of having access to clean water go beyond the obvious uses of drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing.
“Access to clean water prevents the spread of diseases in our communities, improves the delivery of health services in our hospitals, and maintains an environment in which people can thrive mentally and emotionally,” said Chakwera.