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 July 15, 2024


World Bank Funds Improved Water Supply for Malawi’s Urban Areas

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2007 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved US$50 million of International Development Association (IDA) funds for Malawi’s Second National Water Development Project (NWSP II). Of these funds, US$27.5million is a grant and US$22.5million a credit*.

The project aims to increase access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services for people living in cities, towns, market centres, and villages and improve water resources management at the national level. The project will also contribute to building sector capacity through improved monitoring, regulation, incentive structures, public private partnerships, and coordination among the sector stakeholders.

The NWSP II is the World Bank’s contribution to the Government’s five year National Water Development Program (NWDP) estimated to cost $260million. Multiple donors are supporting the Government in the water development program whose purpose is to improve the management of the Nation's water resources and to ensure the delivery of efficient, reliable, and sustainable water supply and sanitation services to an increasing country population. Through the NWDP, the Government and its partners aim to increase water supply from the current 67% of the population to 79% by 2012. The overall goal for the Government is to achieve universal coverage by 2025.

“Through this project, we envisage that 250,000 more people in Malawi will have access to clean and safe water. We would like supply disruptions especially in Blantyre to be a thing of the past, and we would like to see the water boards function better,” says Timothy Gilbo, Country Manager for Malawi.

The NWSP II has four components. The first component is water supply and sanitation for the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe. This will consist of priority investments for essential spare parts and materials to prevent water supply disruptions in Blantyre and urgent rehabilitation works in both cities. Through this component, unserved areas will be reached through piloting of water supply and sanitation services to low income areas in Blantyre. Aqueduct planning in Lilongwe will also be done through this component.

The second component is water supply and sanitation for town and market centres, and rural piped water supply and sanitation. This component will expand water supply facilities and improvements in operational efficiency in the cities of Mzuzu and Zomba, the fastest-growing towns of Kasungu and Mangochi, and the smaller towns of Likuni and Mponela. The component will also develop community-managed water supplies in market centers and rural piped systems. It will also train the regional water boards, the staff of the program implementation unit, district assemblies, and local communities in relevant skills.

The third component is on water resources management, which will consist of development and support for the promulgation of enabling legislation for the National Water Policy of 2005, and development of an integrated water resources investment strategy. The component will also design independent environmental and social assessments for Lake Malawi level control; and strengthen institutional capacity for water resource management including the establishment of a National Water Resources Authority. It will also carry out feasibility studies, designs, and environmental and social assessments for the development of future water sources.

The last component is sector management and urban water sector reform. Through this component, there will be support to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development in the establishment of a management system for the sector investment program; development of a strategic sanitation plan for Lilongwe and Blantyre; and design and implementation of a sustainable reform plan for Blantyre and Lilongwe.

NWDP II provides continuing support to NWDP I which supported the implementation of the Malawi Government’s water resources management policy by reforming and upgrading the management o f water resources and the provision of water-related service. The project is expected to run from 2007 to 2012. In this project, donors have agreed with Government to strong coordination, joint monitoring, collective policy dialogue, and common implementation arrangements.

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