Plan to expand water supply to 25 000 Malawians

Project name:
Feasibility study on Illovo Nchalo Water Supply and Sanitation Project

Project preparation

Water and Sanitation
Climate Change

Climate Resilience Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF), DFID

2015 – 2016


Illovo Sugar Malawi wanted to improve the water supply for Nchalo town and the communities surrounding its sugar facility, which is an area characterised as very poor and lacking in clean water and sanitation.

Nchalo is in the Chikwawa district in the southern region of Malawi within which the Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) has jurisdiction over water supply infrastructure development and operations. A feasibility study was commissioned in response to the socio-economic challenges experienced in Chikwawa-Nchalo area.

With technical support from the Climate Resilient infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF) in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a PPP between Illovo and the SRWB was established in order to address the problem of access to safe water and improved sanitation in the area. Five options for the improvement of the water supply system and sanitation facilities in the area were considered.

The Genesis team did a cost-benefit analysis that determined a financial analysis of what would be the net return to the developer, and an economic analysis of what would be a net return to surrounding communities. Genesis’s analysis first resulted in the decision to proceed with the project. Secondly, and going beyond standard analysis and reverting to the engineers to help redesign the project to expand the water network to poorer communities not part of the original design, the Genesis team increased the economic impact of the project and its value for money.

The plan was to benefit an additional 12 000 people in the original target area. With the expansion to outlying villages, 25 000 additional individuals in poorer, rural villages would also have benefited from the project. 

Importantly, this would have provided water for a growing population that would otherwise not have access to clean water. Formal access to water would have multiple benefits, primarily through improved sanitation and health and time savings, with the long-term benefits expected to be even larger.


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