Happy New Year

As we bid farewell to 2023 and eagerly welcome the promises of 2024, we find ourselves reflecting on the journey we have shared with you. It has been a year filled with achievements, growth, and memorable milestones, amidst an economic downturn and we are deeply grateful to have had you alongside us every step of the way. At Northern Region Water Board, we understand that our success is inseparable from the trust and support of our loyal customers. Your unwavering confidence in our products and services has continued to inspire and motivate us to reach new heights of excellence.

In retrospect, the year 2023 saw the nation navigate through a turbulent economic environment, marked by two devaluations. The impact of this downturn was felt directly in the provision of water services, as operational costs soared, posing significant challenges to the financial stability of the water utility.

Despite these challenges, the Northern Region Water Board achieved significant milestones in ensuring reliable and sustainable water services. Strategic investments and operational excellence were paramount in maintaining water quality standards, minimizing disruptions, and enhancing overall system efficiency. The recognition received from Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) for Quality, Productivity, and Innovation is a testament to these achievements. Key milestones in 2023 include:

  • Successful execution of crucial infrastructure upgrades, including the commissioning of the Nkhata Bay Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project and the near completion of the Karonga Water Supply Project.
  • Securing a US$ 30 million grant financing from the African Development Bank for the Rumphi Water Supply and Sanitation project.
  • Signing a memorandum of understanding with China Construction Second Engineering Bureau Co Ltd for the development of Lambilambi Dam.
  • Active engagement with the European Investment Bank for a possible US$ 40 million financing for the Mzuzu Water Supply Project, expected to materialize in 2024.
  • Connecting 10,000 prepaid meters and expanding the prepaid metering portfolio to 37,000 connections.

Looking ahead to 2024, the vision is clear – to further elevate the water experience for the community. Plans include enhancing water infrastructure, investing in eco-friendly technologies, and implementing community outreach programs to improve reliability, efficiency, and sustainability. Priorities for the year encompass:

  • Connecting 13,000 new customers with a focus on leveraging the commissioning of the Karonga Water Supply Project, supported by the Free New Water Connection program.
  • Implementing the Rumphi Water Supply Project and the Mzuzu Water Supply Project, incorporating solar power installations in all pumping stations.
  • Initiating preparatory activities for Lambilambi Dam by engaging a consultant for detailed dam designs.
  • Commencing a two-year journey towards developing Quality Management Systems and obtaining ISO 9001:2015 certification to enhance customer services.
  • Actively engaging potential financiers for planned projects in Jenda, Chilumba, and Chintheche.
  • Advocating with the Government to consider introducing a water subsidy in the 2024-25 National Budget to alleviate the impact of upward water tariff adjustments in the current challenging economic climate, while ensuring the Board’s sustainability.

As we embark on 2024, let us unite in making it a year of sustainability and excellence, ensuring the continuous flow of clean and reliable water to improve the lives of the community.

Wishing you a prosperous New Year!

Francis Edgar Denis Munthali

Chief Executive Officer