President Arthur Peter Mutharika this week, faulted Malawians who brand the Northern Region as the ‘Dead North,’ and described those who do so as leaders without a vision for the Region.
Speaking Tuesday in Chitipa, during the commissioning of Chitipa Water Supply System, Mutharika said the Northern Region deserves meaningful development.
He said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Government is evenly spreading development across the country, including the North, and Chitipa District in particular.
Mutharika said he was pleased that Chitipa, which for many years, faced water challenges, has access to potable water.
“I’m aware that people could go for days without access to potable water due to failure by the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) to provide enough water.
“Gone are the days when piped water was for the people in cities and towns alone,” the President said.
He thanked the NRWB and other stakeholders for ensuring that the new water project becomes a successful reality.
Mutharika then asked Chitipa residents to refrain from tampering with the Kalenge River catchment area and its banks, which is the source of the water system.
He then informed the residents that his DPP Government will implement other projects in the North so that it is transformed beyond recognition.
Mutharika cited, among others, the construction of new Mzuzu Airport at Lusangazi, whose funds he said are already available, as an initiative to develop the North.
For Chitipa in particular, the President said the DPP-led Government, constructed the Karonga-Chitipa Road, upgraded the Kapoka-Misuku Road, and there are plans to construct Chitipa-Ilomba Border Road.
Additionally, he said the Government intends to construct the Chitipa-Nthalire-Rumphi Road that passes through Nyika National Park.
“The road passing through Nyika National Park is crucial, as it has the potential to boost tourism industry,” he said.
On health, Mutharika said the Government will upgrade Nthalire Health Centre, situated 115 km from the Boma, to a rural hospital.
He also announced that his Government will construct a sports stadium and new bus depot at the Boma, and connect electricity to 14 trading centres in the district.
“A certain political party for 30 years said northern region is ‘Dead North’. I say the North is alive,” Mutharika said.
He then appealed to Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), who co-financed the project with the Malawi Government, to also consider financing other proposed projects as these have the potential to uplift the welfare of Malawians.
A representative of BADEA Hany Kamal Fahmy, said the Bank takes special interest to implement development projects in Africa because they contribute towards social economic development.
The NRWB Board chairperson Rev. Howard Matiya Nkhoma, confirmed that the old water supply system did not serve the residents of Chitipa well, because it could not provide the required volume of water to the residents.
The old system used electric boreholes to tap underground water, which was a challenge in the dry season.
Chief Mwaulambia said the new water system will alleviate the plight of Chitipa residents, who risked their lives depending on water from untreated sources.
Badea pumped in US$10 million with Malawi Government injecting US$3 million (approximately K7.5 billion) into the new water system.