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World Bank approves $145 million to improve water and sanitation in Malawi

  • World Bank approves $145 million to improve water and sanitation in Malawi

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The World Bank
The World Bank Group has two goals, to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way

Nearly half a million people in the city of Blantyre are expected to gain access to safe water, sanitation services, and improved solid waste management services with the support of a $145 million grant from the *International Development Association (IDA) that was approved. The project aims to improve water supply and sanitation services and enhance the operational and financial efficiency of the Blantyre Water Board.

Blantyre’s water supply system is under severe strain that is expected to worsen with increasing climate change impacts such as the recent Tropical Cyclone Freddy. Furthermore, the Blantyre Water Board faces major operational and financial challenges which impede the reliable supply of water to the city. Additionally, poor sanitation is a major public health issue such that when the city experiences flooding, uncollected solid waste ends up in sewers, drainage systems and water bodies, further exacerbating the floods and increasing the risk of waterborne diseases.

The project is therefore designed to address the immediate and medium-term water security and sanitation needs and support a long-term solution through the construction of new water sources, independent power sources for water supply infrastructure, network upgrades and improvement in efficiency, sewerage system upgrades, and solid waste management improvements.

The project is designed to address the immediate and medium-term water security and sanitation needs and support a long-term solution through the construction of new water sources

“As we see from the ongoing cholera outbreak and the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, very poor access to water and sanitation translates into immediate and major public health issues. The new Water and Sanitation Project aims to address the underlying structural issues to build resilience to external shocks, including through the institutional strengthening of the Blantyre Water Board itself,” says Hugh Riddell, World Bank Country Manager for Malawi

The six-year project, to be implemented by Blantyre Water Board and Blantyre City Council, will focus on investments in water production, network stabilization, leak reduction, renewable energy sources, and water network expansion to unserved areas. It will also contribute to the rehabilitation and upgrading of sewer network and connections, institutional development, and a contingency emergency response to support preparedness and rapid response measures to address disaster, emergency and/or catastrophic events.

The project is part of the Series of Projects (SOPs) until 2032 proposed by the Government of Malawi to support the development of a national water program and to increase water supply and sanitation access by combining various financing instruments to maximize investment efficiency and incentives for strengthening institutional capacity, operational and financial efficiency, and service quality.

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