Supporting Broad Capacity Building and Financial Improvement
Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is a government-mandated statuatory corporation responsible for supplying water services to Lilongwe City, Malawi and other surrounding areas of the capital, which has a population of about one million people. LWB serves approximately 83 percent of this population. The board is not currently responsible for providing sanitation service but has been recently mandated to do so by March 2022.
LWB has a water production capability of 110,000 m3/day supplied from three water treatment plans and 23 boreholes, delivered through approximately 2,100 km of pipelines to its customers in the Lilongwe area. However, this is not adequate to meet the current demand of 125,000 m3/day within LWB’s service area. Increasing water production, storage and transmission capacity is one of LWB’s key priorities.
ROCKBlue commenced its partnership with LWB in 2019. Initial efforts involved introducing AquaRating, an online self-assessment platform on utility performance, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, for establishing its baseline performance across eight areas of utility operation, thereby fostering processes of transformation, continuous improvement, change management, innovation, strategic planning and knowledge management.
During 2019 and 2020, ROCKBlue supported LWB in efforts to three of its performance objectives consistent with its 2015-20 Strategic Plan goals: extend service to 100% of the population within its service area, maintain 24/7 supply of water and maximize revenues by improving its collection efficiency. Although COVID adversely impacted LWB’s ability to achieve its objectives, with ROCKBlue support the utility still managed to add nearly 92,000 new household connections and increase revenues by 1.5 percent.
ROCKBlue also advised LWB on its Emergency Response Plan and organized a partners conference to solicit financing from its international financing partners to support the plan.