EU gives Malawi K7.2 billion for water and sanitation

Nyasa Times Online Malawi peri-urban water and sanitation project, funded by the European Investment Bank the European Union, and the Malawi government, has been inaugurated in Blantyre, Malawi.

The inauguration was attended by Minister of Irrigation and Water Development, Richie Biswick Muheya, European Union Ambassador to Malawi, Alexander Baum, and Jane Shirran, representative of the EIB’s southern Africa regional office in Pretoria.

Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB Vice President responsible for Africa said: “The European Investment Bank is working with the Lilongwe and Blantyre Water Boards to improve access to clean water and sanitation for Malawians. This is a key project demonstrating the European Investment Bank’s strong engagement to improving the quality of life of people across Africa.”

EU Ambassador to Malawi, Alexander Baum, added: “This investment programme represents a unique combination of loan and grant funding particularly suitable for the water sector.

“It will significantly improve piped water and sanitation services for people living in low-income areas of Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi’s two main cities; 723,000 additional people will receive safe drinking water and 468,000 people in low-income areas will have access to basic sanitation facilities.”

Minister of Irrigation and Water Development,  Muheya MP said: “The Malawi government welcomes this landmark project and strong support from the European Investment Bank and European Union.

“This will significantly improve both the health and quality of life for Malawians in the country’s main cities. This is in line with the Government of Malawi’s Development priorities in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.”

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development, Sandram Maweru said: “The Malawi peri-urban water and sanitation project will upgrade clean water provision and sanitation to international standards and improve services for citizens in Blantyre and Lilongwe for years to come.”

The project will include upgrading key water and sanitation infrastructure and institutional capacity-development.

In addition to the two water boards, financial support will be given to local NGOs advising on project implementation. The overall programme will also include a HIV/AIDS initiative.

The total project cost is €32 million and will be financed through an EU Water Facility Grant of €14.9 million, a subsidised €15.7 million loan from the European Investment Bank, technical assistance and support from the Malawi government.

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