The Songwe River Basin programme is also supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The trans-boundary programme seeks to develop a dam, expected to supply up to 180MW of hydro power and provide water for an irrigation scheme covering about 3,000ha in each of the countries. It will also control floods in the densely populated lower part of the basin.
Development of the program envisages the use of the public-private partnership (PPPs) approach. Plans are being explored to fund an adviser to the project to handle issues related to PPPs.
Economic, social, environmental and livelihood benefits are expected to be generated for the people of the Songwe Basin. It will also enhance food and energy security and boost economic growth on the borders between the Southern African countries. The programme has been prepared with the support of the African Water Facility and the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF), both hosted by the AfDB.
Two small towns with a population of roughly 86,000 inhabitants and some 36 neighbouring villages will be provided with water through this programme. Other components include rural electrification and social infrastructure.