February 20th, 2013

Songwe River Basin Development Programme between Malawi and Tanzania

Frequent floods, shifting of the international border, and cultivation at irregular intervals have negatively impacted the Songwe River basin between Malawi and Tanzania. The governments of both eastern African countries have therefore decided to develop the region. Lahmeyer International has been selected to provide consultancy services to contribute to this development.

The objectives are to assist the two countries in creating a long-term strategic framework, and investment plans for the socio-economic development of the river basin, based on joint management of the shared waters of the Songwe River. The project will receive funds from the African Development Bank, and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility).

Lahmeyer International GmbH is the lead company of an international joint venture with Arab Consulting Engineers Moharram-Bakhoum of Egypt (ACE), which also includes local firms from both client countries as sub-consultants. An existing feasibility study will first be reviewed and updated. This study foresaw the construction of three dams for flood protection as well as agricultural irrigation measures, water supply and power generation. The scope of the two-year service contract includes the development up to tender design stage of an initial project phase, including a dam, a tunnel, and an underground powerhouse as well as sustainable irrigation infrastructure and river stabilisation measures. Other components of the project include assistance to the two countries in setting up a joint River Basin Authority to provide guidance for shared use of the river.

The project’s technical, organisational and logistical challenges will be significant. Lahmeyer International can nevertheless draw on experience in many similar successfully executed projects and will supply most of the many different areas of expertise involved in the project from its own in-house personnel.

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