MALAWI: EIB grants a $35.7 million loan for drinking water in the south of the countr

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MALAWI: EIB grants a $35.7 million loan for drinking water in the south of the country ©rdonar/Shutterstock

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is approving a $35.7 million (over 28 billion Malawian kwachas) loan to extend the drinking water network in southern Malawi. The project is being implemented by the Southern Region Water Board (SRWB).

Malawi obtains funding for the strengthening of the water supply. The state-owned Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) recently signed a $35.7 million (over 28 billion Malawian kwacha) loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The soft loan is to be repaid over 20 years with a grace period of 5 years.

The EIB funding is for the extension of the drinking water network in the southern region of Malawi, particularly in Balaka and Liwonde. According to the SRWB, part of the funding will be used for the development of a power plant to diversify its operations.

Work to start in March 2022

The SRWB did not give details on the nature of the facilities to be built, nor their capacity. But the state-owned company estimates that the drinking water project in these two cities will supply some 150,000 people until 2050.

The SRWB says work on the project will start as early as March 2022 in the southern region of Malawi and will be completed by August 2023. The project will ultimately improve the East African country’s national household drinking water coverage, estimated at 67% according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 2020 report. According to the same source, just 77% of Malawi’s water points are functional. The remainder are non-functional due to obsolescence, deterioration of catchments, neglect, lack of spare parts and inadequate community water management structures.

In its policy to provide all Malawians with safe drinking water, the Government of Malawi is also supported by the Exim Bank of India. On June 12th, 2020, the Indian bank opened a $215.68 million (over 158.45 billion Malawian kwachas) line of credit to finance the construction of the Likhubula River water supply system in Mulanje, southern Malawi. The funds will also be used to establish and expand the water supply system in the Blantyre Water Board’s areas of jurisdiction.

Inès Magoum


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