Rapid Population Growth to Put Water Supply Under Strain in Lilongwe

By Sellaphine Banda

Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has projected that the city’s population, currently at one million, will grow to 3.8 million by 2045 which the institution fears will severely strain the water supply service to city residents.

LWB Chief Executive officer revealed this Wednesday during a press briefing held at the water board’s offices in Lilongwe on the upcoming two-day conference on Infrastructure Investment financing.

Chikuni reminded journalists that according to the 2019 Malawi Population and Housing Census, Lilongwe City’s population is about one million (1,000,000).

However, the LWB Chief Executive said going by the current population growth rate, the city’s population will grow to 3.8 million by 20145.

 He worried that the development is likely to continue straining the supply of water by LWB to its clients.

“The water supply is under strain and the city is facing water shortages, which is expected to be severe over the coming years unless major investments on additional water sources are made,” Chikuni said.

 On the two-day conference on Infrastructure Investment Financing LWB will host from November 14 to 15 at BICC in Lilongwe, Chikuni said the aim is to bring awareness to investors on the projects LWB has planned.

He said hosting a conference is the water board’s strategy to explore opportunities that would assist the financing of its Investment Plan.

“We have invited national and international private investors, international non-governmental organizations and other innovative funding sources so that they can see the LWB Investment Plan,” Chikuni said.

He added that to close up the gap between capacity and demand for water in the short to long term, LWB has developed an Investment Plan for the projects.

“We have a new water source at Diamphwi River. This is the biggest project that we have talked about for quite some time and would like some investors to assist us so that we are able to supply water in areas which are without potable water.

“This Infrastructure Investment Financing conference will be better place to lobby some investors who can help us in that project,” Chikuni said.-MANA