The Southern Region Water Board-SRWB is hopeful that other studies feeding into a new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment-ESIA report on the Mangochi water project will be completed by next month.
Environment and Natural Resources authorities stopped works at the site a week ago on grounds that the ESIA provided by SRWB had some gaps.
According to the institutions officials, the initial ESIA was also done in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife-DNPW, especially on the wildlife part.
Making a progress presentation on the project, during a media interaction in Zomba, SRWB Acting Director of Infrastructure Jacqueline Dias disclosed that the Museum as an interested stakeholder has already started doing an analysis on antiquities in Nkhudzi Bay.
“Last week Tuesday, we met some of stakeholders who have expressed interest to also carry out assessment. And Southern Region Water Board has already provided funds to the Museum team to conduct an assessment,” said Dias.
She went on to express hope that the other assessment which will be incorporated in the revised ESIA will be completed by mid-June after which public disclosures will be done.
The project done by the Alghanim International and Plem Construction with funding from Kuwait Fund intends to benefit over 92 thousand people with clean water in the district.
Speaking to Capital, SRWB Board Chairman Ibrahim Matola, shared Dias’s optimism, that the process will be ready in good time.
According to Matola they want to ensure that all concerned parties and stakeholders have their input considered before works resume.
“So we have tried to accommodate their views, and the hearing has been done and we are going to carry out another hearing so that this thing should be solved amicably. We are trying to take on board everybody who is concerned,” disclosed Matola.
Matola added that their core interest, is to ensure access to potable water for people in the southern lakeshore areas.
The 14.4 million dollar project was initially scheduled to run from 18th February this year to 31st July 22, with a potential of creating at least 500 jobs.
Engineering officials at the SRWB are however expressing fear that delays in the completion of the other impact assessments has the likeliness f costing the a lot in the project.
“If the assessments delay, the consultant will start charging SRWB for the time lost, since it is an EPC,” Dias feared.
It is envisaged that once complete, the Nkhudzi Bay water system, will assist SRWB grow its revenue to 107 million kwacha a month.