CONSTRUCTION of water investment projects covering Nyimba, Katete and Chadiza Districts of Eastern Province have been completed and a waiting to be commissioned.
The three investments gobbled the sum of 13.2 million Euros equivalent to K158 million.
Eastern Water and Sewerage Company (EWSC) Managing Director Lytone Kanowa said in response to press query that in Nyimba the major works included the construction of an elevated storage tank of 500 M3 capacity, water distribution system and the district office.
He said in Chadiza works involved major rehabilitation of the raw water pump station, water treatment plant and elevated storage tanks, which were heavily leaking making a loss of 70 percent of water produced a new water distribution network has been done including a 8 Kilometres long transport pipeline from Sadzu Water works to the township.
“A new office has also been constructed. In Katete the major works included the construction of a 1.1million m3 earth dam and a new water treatment plant which has necessitated the migration from groundwater system, the ground water supply system was highly inadequate,” he
Mr Kanowa said the three districts were now on 24hours water supply service following the investment.
He said initially before the project water was implemented the hours of water supply for the districts were a maximum of 12 hours for Nyimba, 4 to 8 hours for Katete and 12 hours for Chadiza district.
He said the construction of the dam and water treatment plants and system have improved the quality of life.
“As you may be aware water is life. This project has already made it possible for Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Limited to supply 24hours of water service and improve reliability and availability of water. The plant capacity for the entire district is much bigger that the current demand meaning that we need less than 12 hours of pumping to satisfy 24hours of demand. This also means that we can cope and
meet the water supply needs of our customers even in the midst of load shedding,”he said.
Mr Kanowa said the major output of interventions the company has planned for the next five years was to improve accountability of water by reducing non-revenue water which stands at approximately 39 percent at corporate level to less than 25 percent increase coverage of water supply especially for Chipata which has the lowest coverage of all.
To achieve this,Mr Kanowa said EWSC would expand water distribution system in the districts with excess water to supply, expand to some growth centres and new districts of Vubwi and Sinda.
He said through the National Water Supply and Sanitation (NWSS) programme under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. He said the company was optimistic to increase coverage to all urban and peri-urban areas of Eastern province and Chama District.
“The programme for expansion of water supply services in Chipata is underway. Through Gauff Engineering Consultants, details designs for complete facelift of the water supply system in Chipata is underway and will be completed in 2017,”Mr Kanowa said.
He however said the company does not have capital funding for the water and sewerage project for the new districts.
He said with support from Government, detailed designs of the water supply scheme for Sinda were ready and at the moment Government was making arrangements to purchase the dam in Sinda belonging to a local business man as efforts to get groundwater did not yield good results.
“Perhaps hydro-geological survey needs to be done on a much larger area that what was done,”he said.
As for Vubwi, Mr Kanowa said Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) was also looking for funding through the frameworks of the National Urban Water Supply and Sanitation programme to implement a centralised water supply scheme and probably sewerage system.
“However, MLGH has facilitated the drilling of boreholes in both Sinda and Vubwi districts to start with, though the yields are not very good to township water supply. EWSC is nonetheless, looking at how these boreholes can be equipped and piped to some residents within the townships,”he said.
He said the company has also commenced customer database cleanup in a
quest to establish the number of illegal connections among other objectives.
He said other improvements made so far was the completion of the project funded by Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) a German government-owned development bank and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) covering Nyimba, Katete and Chadiza districts including minor emergency works for Chipata district.
He said the project was ready for commissioning adding that other project involved the construction of seven water kiosk in Chipata covering approximately 2800 families as per design.
He said an estimating approximation of 3200 out of a total of 17,900 customers were not billed either as a result of having illegally connected or reconnected water supply, or inactive due to own supply from boreholes and wells.