Profile ‘Water Demand Management to Mitigate Water Shortages’ project in Malawi

Who? Plan Netherlands is the lead applicant of this FDW-funded PPP in Malawi. In this partnership Plan works through Plan Malawi, together with Vitens Evides International (VEI), the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) and the Mzuzu City Council (MCC) to sustainably increase the financial, technical and managerial capacity of the NRWB and the MCC.

What? By increasing the capacities of the NRWB and the MCC, the partners want to (1) increase water efficiency; (2) reduce ground water pollution; and (3) increase coverage of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to low-income households. Among the expected results are: reduced water loss by half from 40-45% in 2012 to 20% in 2018; a supply increased with at least a 100,000 m3 per month for another 50,000 people of Mzuzu by 2016; and increased coverage rates for water services from 68% to 80% of the households.

Where? The project takes place in Mzuzu, which is a rapidly growing city in the north of Malawi. About 50% of the population lives in informal settlements, which are characterised by limited provision of WASH services.

When? The PPP has kicked off on 1 May 2013 and will run for six years.

Why? Currently the NRWB is facing an exponential incre­ase in water demand due to rapid population growth in Mzuzu. The present coverage of 68% of households is expected to lower in the coming years due to a lack of water resources. While septic tanks are used by 20% of the population, around 80% of the population in Mzuzu still uses poorly constructed and shared pit latrines that pollute ground water. The responsibility for providing sanitation services shifted from the MCC to the NRWB, but transfer of duties, personnel and funding is not carried out yet. Both the NRWB and the MCC acknowledge the urgen­cy to find innovative instruments to mitigate the gap between demand and supply of safe water. With Plan and VEI they have found qualified partners to meet current and future water demands.

Interested in this PPP? Here you can read the interview with Mascha Singeling (Manager WASH Programmes) and Peter Gijs van Enk (Institutional Partnerships Officer) of Plan Netherlands.