By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday, 8th August 2023 commissioned the raised and rehabilitated Kamuzu Dam 1at Malingunde in the outskirts of capital Lilongwe with reaffirmation that administration will continue with the projects that are in progress until they are completed for the benefit of citizenry.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony of the Dam that has been raised by 5 meters and its holding capacity moved from 5 million cubic meters to around 25 million cubic metres, Chakwera said his administration tripled the budget allocation for the management of the country’s water resources and created a stand-alone Ministry to oversee the implementation of the country’s ambitious sustainable development goal of teaching 100 percent water and sanitation access by 2030 as the country could not continue to be preoccupied by luxuries that benefit very few when many do not have basics like clean water.
“When I got into office three years ago, one of my first missions was to set our country’s priorities right and straight. It made no sense to me that before I became President, government after government was passing budget after budget without adequate allocation of funds to the most basic things that the majority of Malawians lack on daily basis. One of these basics is access to clean water” Said President Chakwera.
Here the President mentioned several other projects aiming at providing clean water to Malawians including Nkhudzu-Bay water supply project in Mangochi and Chikwawa water projects in the Southern region, Nkhata-Bay and Karonga water supply projects in the Northern region, and Dowa water supply project in the Central region as his administration’s determination to achieve universal water access in Malawi by the year 2030.
Malawi leader has since urged country’s partners to stay course with Malawi, saying the rehabilitation of Kamuzu Dam 1 is an encouragement about the power of partnerships in strategic areas and also as a reminder of development foundations laid down by the late Kamuzu who first opened the dam in May 1966, 2 years after the country got its independence.
In his remarks, EU ambassador to Malawi said the project demonstrates the team Europe’s cooperation of Malawi and International Partners to support investments under EU’s global gateway strategy.
Water and Sanitation Minister, Abida Mia thanked President Chakwera for his unwavering commitment to development of Malawi and the guidance on critical projects including those in Water and Sanitation sector.
“Kamuzu Dam 1 stands as a resource in our mission to the provision of clean and sufficient water to our citizens” Added Mia.
The rehabilitation work on Kamuzu Dam 1 has been done through collaboration of the European Investment Bank and the World Bank through Lilongwe Water Board.