Investment Projects


Diamphwe Dam and Associated Structures, Water Treatment Plant, Transmission Pipes and Upgrading of Distribution Network

The proposed project will include increased access to water supply in urban, peri-urban and low-income areas in Lilongwe, irrigation system and hydropower generation plant. The project will involve:
  • construction of multipurpose dam on the Diamphwe River;
  • construction of an access road to the source (Diamphwe);
  • environmental impact assessment and implementation of mitigation measures; 
  • resettling of people under compensations
  • Institutional capacity building to facilitate efficient and optimum utilisation of the new and refurbished facilities
  • Increased access to water supply in urban, peri-urban and low-income areas
    Priority investments for infrastructure development under Lilongwe Water Board shall include:
  • construction of a system to convey water from the dam to the treatment works
  • construction of treatment works located at 30.7 km from the distribution system
  • construction of a transmission main to the water supply area (City of Lilongwe); 
  • various associated works
The irrigation system shall establish 1000 hectares land for irrigation in the five critical dry months of the year and the hydropower plant shall have installed capacity of 0.830 MW with annual generation capacity of 6,6000 MWH for water supply production input
Project Objectives
The project aims to improve water supply service delivery to approximately 1, 500,000 people living in urban, peri-urban and low-income areas of Lilongwe, enhanced capacity development of the Government of Malawi to manage, conserve, protect and utilise its water resources through the construction of a dam at Diamphwe.
Improved health of people living in urban, peri-urban and low-income areas resulting from improved water quality and improved industrial development through a more sustainable water source
Actual location of project
The project is located in the Central Region of Malawi. The water source project site is located south of Lilongwe City on Diamphwe River, between Ndomba Hill in Dedza District and Chinzili and Phili la Fisi Hills on the Lilongwe District Side. The dam is located about 2 km upstream of the Diamphwe River Bridge, west of the Lilongwe – Blantyre M1 Road.
The Water Treatment Plant and associated auxiliary works are located close to the dam site. The water transmission facilities shall run along the Blantyre - Lilongwe M1 Road from the Water Works to Lilongwe City Water Supply whereas the Balancing / Storage Tank will be located in the Lilongwe City Water Supply
Strengths of the project location
The Diamphwe River has adequate flows that can be reserved through a dam site. The dam site is capable storing up to 184 million cubic meters of water for multipurpose water use (water supply, irrigation and hydropower generation) and water supply demand for the Lilongwe City and its peri – urban areas can be reached up and beyond year 2035.
The project is a new infrastructure development for a new water source to increase water production capacity to meet water demand up to 2035. Present capacity for Lilongwe City supply is at 96,000 m3/day. The new projects will add production capacity of up to 189,000 m3/day
The product/services that the proposed project will offer is potable water supply. The market being targeted by the project is local community, Lilongwe City and Peri – Urban community; residential, commercial / industrial and institutional establishments. The raw materials for the project include chemical for water treatment, pipes and fittings and power (ESCOM and petroleum products) that will be sourced locally and imported.
The project promoters are looking for funding amounting to US$288 Million
The project promoter is looking for either debt or equity partners. The preferred mode of undertaking the project is turnkey
  • Feasibility studies and preliminary designs were concluded in 2010
  • Detailed designs started were concluded in 2015
  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (EISA) and Resettlement Action Plans (RAP) preparation were completed in 2015
  • Tariff Review and Willingness to Pay Study conducted in 2014 considering implementation under Public Private Partnership (PPP) or other financing approaches 
  • Fund’s mobilization underway and project to be effective end of June 2022.
Lilongwe Water Board, Private Bag 96, Lilongwe, MALAWI.
Telephone: +265 1 750 366. Fax: +265 1 752 294. E – mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Contact person:     Silli Mbewe, Acting General Manager
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