MALAWI: Kamuzu 1 dam back in operation after five years’ work

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MALAWI: Kamuzu 1 dam back in operation after five years' work©LWB

The President of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, has just witnessed the re-commissioning of the Kamuzu 1 dam in Malingunde, following rehabilitation work. The facility supplies the capital Lilongwe with drinking water.

The Kamuzu 1 dam is once again operational, after more than five years of work (2018-2023). The dam was re-launched on 8 August 2023 in Malingunde, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, and several other officials, including those from the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), the public company that developed the water project.

This is the second rehabilitation project to be carried out on the Kamuzu 1 dam, following that of 1987, which raised the infrastructure by 1.2 metres. This raised the dam’s initial storage capacity to 5.1 million m3, compared with 3.5 million m3 in 1966, when it was commissioned.

Storage of 25 million m3 of water for the population

According to the LWB, recent works have raised the dam by 7 m, made up of 5 m of concrete and 2 m of rubber. The rubber section will enable the Commission to control the flow of water between the Kamuzu 1 and Kamuzu 2 dams.

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Following this work, the dam’s capacity increased fivefold, from 5.1 million m3 to 25 million m3. What’s more, the infrastructure’s water security has been increased from 4 months to 12 months, “guaranteeing drinking water security for the residents of the city of Lilongwe and the surrounding area”, says Chairman Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera.

The project, which is now drawing to a close, has also created complementary public services in the form of the Malingunde water supply system, which, once completed, will provide drinking water to the Malingunde Trading Centre and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) in Bunda. The cost of the work is €27 million. The Government of Malawi has received financial support from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Inès Magoum

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