Mangochi, Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) says the new multi – million Kwacha Mangochi Water Treatment Plant will bring efficiency as it will offer more and quality water compared to the old plant which had the capacity of about three million litres per day.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) after a media tour to some establishments under SRWB in the district on Tuesday, Zone Manager for Mangochi Bright Piyo said the new plant has a capacity of eight million litres per day.
Mangochi Zone covers Mangochi Boma, Namwera and Monkey Bay.
Piyo said the plant has flocculation and aeration components which assist in the process of removing unwanted minerals from the water and aiding chemical reaction and slowing down the speed of water so that the process can take place a bit faster than usual.
“The quality of water in our lake has changed as there is segmentation of water due to soil erosion which has necessitated the deployment of such other processes to improve water safety and quality,” Piyo said.
Piyo said since the plant was established, the main challenge has been frequent blackouts following ESCOM’s load shedding programme and breakdown of pumps leading to either shortage or low water supply.
“As a result of the ESCOM’s load shedding our production has also drastically gone down while once in a while we experience breakdown of machines or pumps which affects our service delivery,” Piyo pointed out.
He admitted that the problem could be solved by installing stand by generators, observing that in the long to short term the provision of the same was not sustainable because the board would raise tariffs by two to three times as compared to production using ESCOM’s power.
“Therefore, pushing that expense to the consumer would be asking for too much but it is possible to mount such heavy duty machinery,” he said
The new Mangochi water treatment plant was commissioned by President Peter Mutharika on March 22, 2017 during the commemoration of World Water Day and National Water Conference.
Currently the plant is generating at least 5, 700 cubic metres of water per day, but its full capacity is eight million litres of water per day, implying that it has the capacity of serving more people with the growing population in Mangochi standing at 50, 000 people.
The project which started in 2011 has cost the SRWB $7.1 million obtained from the World Bank through the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (Opec) Fund for International Development.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA