Germany to Construct K4.7Bn Nyika-Vwaza Water Scheme
Over 33 thousand households surrounding Nyika National Park and Vwaza Wildlife Game Reserve in Rumphi and Mzimba districts will soon start drinking portable water ending years of drinking unsafe water from sources which they have in some cases shared with wild animals.
The Federal Republic of Germany through KFW bank and Peace Parks Foundation have launched a K4.7billion Thazima Gravity Fed piped water supply system that will tap water from Runyina river in Nyika National park and distributed to communities that live along the borders of the two protected areas.
The project is targeting communities under Traditional Authorities Katumbi, Chikulamayembe in Rumphi district and Mpherembe and Mtwalo in neighboring Mzimba district.
Despite Nyika National Park having several perennial rivers but communities there drink untreated water direct from the streams and boreholes while in Vwaza communities along the game border, face portable water scarcity and often scramble for the few available water sources with wildlife such as Elephants, Hippos and Buffaloes.
At the launch of the project which is expected to take 9 months, through the Malawi Zambia Trans-Frontier Conservation Area TFCA, Peace Parks Foundation Chief Executive Officer Werner Myburgh said the idea is to ensure that communities are consuming portable water and are also protected from wildlife while also preserving both the natural resources and game.
“This is a clear demonstration of how communities can benefit from natural resources. Our goal is to develop the protected areas and around the protected areas,” said Myburgh.
The water scheme is expected to be managed by community Water User’s Associations (WUA) to ensure longevity and sustainability of the scheme.
However Minister of Tourism and Culture who unveiled the ground breaking stone for the project Vera Kamtukule implored on communities to refrain from starting bushfires which she said are detriment to development.
“Bushfire causes soil erosion and that would impact the water source, communities need to guard against bush fires,” said Kamtukule.
Apart from the water project, the Federal Republic of German through the Malawi-Zambia TFCA project managed by Peace Parks Foundation in collaboration with the department of Parks and Wildlife has also supported construction of a 70 kilometre game proof solar powered electrified perimeter fence around Vwaza game reserve to control human and wildlife conflict such as poaching and animals getting to communities to destroy crops and threaten lives.
Inkosi Mpherembe of Mzimba says he will take a leading role to ensure that communities play a role in protecting the two resources now that they have no excuse of the major challenges that have been troubling them for years.
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