Salima-Lilongwe water project in limbo

Dust is refusing to settle on the K227 billion Salima-Lilongwe Water Project as government and contractor Khato Civils strike down on materials to be used on the project.

During a virtual meeting with the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament, Khato Civils Chief Executive Officer Mongezi Mnyani said the company has opted for mild steel pipes saying they are affordable as compared to pipes being requested by government which they say are expensive.

But Director of Economic Affairs MacDonald Mwale, who represented secretary to Treasury during the meeting, bemoaned that Khato has gone against the contractual agreement where it was earlier agreed that it will use Ductile Iron Pipe in the project.

Commenting on the controversy, the Committee`s Chairperson Welani Chilenga has asked both government and Khato Civils to resolve their differences for the sake of providing potable water to Malawians.

“To us we feel that the project might not take place and all this is because Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources is interested in the Diapwe Water Project which they have already started implementing, they are just failing to tell us the truth.

“As a Committee we are recommending that due to scarcity of water in Lilongwe the Salima-Lilongwe water way is the best option,” said Chilenga.

Recently, Khato Civils announced that it is ready to resume the project after revising the contract from the initial $315 million to $298 million.

The South African based company withdrew its Court case which it earlier dragged government to Court over the progress of the project.

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