From the Kawiluwilu Family, let me begin by Wishing all Our Valued Customers and Stakeholders a Happy and Prosperous New Year. We hope you had a Wonderful and Merry Christmas.
2022 was a complex and difficult year. The Russian-Ukraine war disrupted the global supply chains which led to unprecedented rising inflation worldwide. Domestically, the cyclone Ana which damaged one of the country’s hydro power plant affected the general productivity of the country including that of our water production. Our operating costs became unbearable due to the rising inflation. However, it was inspiring to see how our team and stakeholders pulled together in the face of the unprecedented challenges. Despite volatile market conditions and many operational challenges, we continued providing a good service to our customers.
On a positive note, 2022 saw the economy gradually emerge from the shadows of COVID-19, though cholera outbreak in the country posed a challenge that still threatens the fragile recovery. Our thoughts and prayers go to friends and families that have lost their lives due to the cholera outbreak. Our commitment is to support Government efforts in combating the disease by providing clean and safe water in the areas that we operate.
Already we are happy to be extending water supply to some of the areas that were hit hard in the region such as Kande in Nkhatabay. Our resolve to improve sanitation facilities including constructing water sewerage system in Mzuzu has now become urgent.
2022 also saw us make good progress on the two projects we are implementing in Karonga and Nkhata Bay which we expect to commission this year. We expect to commission Nkhatabay Water Supply and Sanitation Project by April 2023 while we expect to commission Karonga Town Water Supply Project by end 2023.
2022 is also a year that closed the curtain for a great era. Our CEO Eng. Dr Titus Mtegha retired towards the end of the year. We can only celebrate the career and enormous contribution that Eng. Dr Mtegha has contributed to the NRWB and the country since 1996 as he now goes into retirement. We also bid farewell to the outgoing Board led by Dr James Munthali and we remain thankful for their contribution in the last two years.
At this point, let me thank all our employees for their contributions in the year as we continue to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of water supply services.
I would also like to thank Government for its continued support in furthering our vision, “Potable Water For All”.
Looking ahead as 2023 begins, we remain optimistic that this will be a year of renewed opportunities and hope, with much to be achieved. Our focus on expansion programs will continue and the expansion of Rumphi Water Supply Scheme is our immediate target. We will continue to leverage our water supply services with new emerging technologies and in this regard, we will transition 10,000 customers from post-paid metering system to prepaid metering system in 2023. Our focus on renewable energy to power our pumping stations will extend beyond the solar plants that we commissioned in Mzuzu in 2022. We will continue with our drive to protect our water catchment arears by planting 500,000 trees in 2023.
Our commitment to bring clean water, safe sanitation, and hygiene to all our customers will remain steadfast in 2023.
We welcome the new Board led by Hon Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo and we look forward to working with them.
To all our customers and stakeholders, join us again this year as we continue to deliver a better service together.
Once again, we wish You a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
Francis Edgar Denis Munthali
Ag. Chief Executive Officer