Factors causing Delays of Implementation of Nkhuzi Water Project with Particular Reference to Mangochi District

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2023

56 Pages, Grade: 18


Table of Contents



List of tables

List of figures

List of abbreviations

Chapter one Introduction
1.0. Background and Introduction
1.1. Statement of the problem
1.2.Objectives of the study
1.2.1 General research objective
1.2.2 Specific study objectives
1.3 Research questions
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5. Scope of the study
1.6 Definition of important terms used

Chapter two Literature review
2.0.Review of related literature
2.5 Theoretical review of project delay
2.6 Empirical review
2.7Literature review summary
2.8Conceptual framework

Chapter three Research methodology
3.0 Introduction
3.1 Research Design
3.2. Research Approach
3.3. Area of Study
3.4. Study population and sampling

CHAPTER 4 Analysis and interpretation of data
4.0 Introduction
4. 2 Discussion of Results
4.2.3 Strategies SRWB undertake to mitigate the delay and its impact

Chapter 5 Summary of findings, discussions, conclusions and recommendations
5.1 Introduction
5.2 summary of key findings and conclusions
5.3 General recommendations to the parties involved in the project

References and Bibliography



At the outset, from beneath of my heart, I thank theALMIGHTY GODfor the blessings showered on me in all the stages in the journey of my task of completing this project work, without any obstacles.

I stand indebted in gratitude to our beloved Founder and ChancellorRev.Fr. Dr. J.E.ARUL RAJ.MMI & DMI group of Institutions, Zambia for his support without which the accomplishment of this study would not have been possible.

I am immensely indebted to our beloved President of University CouncilDr. T.X.A. ANANTH,DMI group of Institutions, Zambia for his constant support in innumerable ways which enabled me to complete my project work.

I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to Director of EducationDr. IGNATIUS A.HERMAN, DMI group of Institutions, Zambia for his constant support and encouragement to complete my project work.

I further proudly express my sincere gratitude toRev. Sr. FATHIMA MARY, Secretary to the University Council,Dr. R. KAVITHA,Deputy Vice Chancellor,Dr. R. SAKTHIVELRegistrar (Admin) andFr. T. AMALRAJDean of Academy for their assistance and guidance towards completion of my project work.

I thankDr. S. Benjamin Franklin HOD,Department of Social Work and the internal guide and staff members of the Department for their valuable support to finish my project.

I would finally like to thank my family for their support in carrying out this project and my guide for being able to successfully guide me through the entire process of carrying out the research.

Kassan Kaselema


Water projects are essential for the development of nations globally. Ironically the common problem in Malawi is the deviation from the planned time schedule of the water supply system development projects. Like in Mangochi, the extension project of water supply system at Nkhuzi hill delayed despite having a number of anticipated benefits to the residents as well as the nation. It is thus for this reason that the study to evaluate factors leading to the delay of Nkhuzi water project was conducted. Basically delays have frequently marred projects in Malawi with great concern by significantly impacting stakeholders both financially and socially. For this study, data was collected by specifically using questionnaires. Of course in other scenarios, case study was involved making triangulation the method to validate reliability. The results were also drawn from earlier studies combined with interviews with water projects construction experts and other concerned stakeholders.

The occurrence of schedule delays has serious impact on project investment, efficiency, cost and even reputation. Southern region water board is among the statutory corporations whose projects have been affected either during construction or actual implementation phases. The delays in construction of water projects have many impacts on the stakeholders.

The study found that the delay was due to building permit approval and laws-regulations regarding the project site. Identifying the causes of the delay, can provide a possibility to minimize such delays and the consequences. Since the project was permitted to progress after a delay, the study is expected to be used to draft a framework on how future projects shall be handled.

Keywords:Causes of delay; Effects of delay; Nkhuzi hill; Project management; Water treatment plant; Conservationist; Laws-regulations

List of tables

Table I: Number and Percentage of population by main source of drinking water during dry season.

Table 2: synthesis of causes of project delay by different researchers

Table 3: Number of expected respondents

Table 4: project time schedule and work plan

Table 5: familiarity of the respondents to the project

List of figures

Figure 1: situation overview of the Nkhuzi bay residents’ water source

Figure 2. Diagrammatic presentation water treatment technique

Figure 3: Intake pipe of SRWB in Mangochi, Shire river.

Figure 4: Conceptual framework for project delay analysis system,

Figure 5. Depiction of factors in control and out of control for project delays

Figure 6: the delay is due to law-regulations

Figure 7: the delay is due to building permit approval.

List of abbreviations

KFAED – Kuwait Fund for Arab and Economic Development

SRWB – Southern Region Water Board

SODIS – Solar disinfection

PERT – project evaluation and review technique

CPM – critical path management

ESIA –Environmental and social impact assessment

UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

JICA – Japanese International Corporation Agency

UN –United Nations

PMBOK – Project Management Body of Knowledge

NSO – National Statistical office

GoM – Government of Malawi

MoAIWD –Ministry of water, Irrigation and Water Development

TDS – Total dissolved solids

Chapter one Introduction

1.0. Background and Introduction

Nkhudzi village is located in senior chief Nankumba of Mangochi district for the southern region of Malawi. The village is located near the world heritage site of Lake Malawi national park which also comprise of Nkhudzi hill and Nkhudzi bay. Even though the area is close to the lake, ironically the water in that village is saline rendering it unfavorable for drinking. It is for that reason southern region water board came in to help in bringing potable water. The project was designed to target rural people living in Mwanyama village of senior Chief Nankumba and surrounding areas between Montfort missionaries [Bishop House] and Mtakataka turn off of monkey bay road. The proposal of the project suggested extension and upgrading of Mangochi water supply system whereby the water treatment plant was to be constructed on Nkhudzi hill.

Geographical location of Nkhudzi Hill

The water supply system extension was primarily purported to be taken from a dam designed to be constructed in Nkhudzi Hill. This place is located at 13⁰ 55’ 11’’ S and 34⁰ 55’ 29’’E. Specifically the place can be geographically found at 14⁰ 12’ 28’’S. Northwards, 13⁰ 37’ 55’’S, western side 34⁰ 27’ 0’’E and 35⁰ 23’ 59’’ E. The minimum elevation of the hill is 468 m and the maximum elevation is 1732 m. The prime beneficiary of the project though is the people of Mwanyama village in the senior chief Nankumba as the project is expected to be implemented within Nkhudzi hill which is in the same village. The project was prompted as women in the area used to draw water direct from the lake which needs a lot of pretreatment before being consumed. It is expected that the project will help alleviate waterborne diseases causing a whooping mortality rate among infants and dwindling health in adults.

Other activities related to the project

Though the project was planned for water supply system extension, the project is also to incorporate;

- Extending water supply system from Mpondasi in Mangochi to Namiasi Trading Centre through boosting.
- Construction of an intake structure at Lake Malawi at Nkhudzi Bay with centrifugal pumps.
- Construction of a conventional water treatment plant comprising of clarifiers, pressure filters and chlorine dosing equipment. The treatment plant will have a sump and a pumping station for clear water to the service reservoir.
- Construction of transmission pipelines.
- Construction of distribution pipe network including construction of storage tanks.
- Distribution pipe network will extend up to Mtakatata Turnoff.
- Construction of auxiliary buildings
- Construction of two service reservoirs, one at Nkhudzi Hill and another at Namiasi.
- Procurement of materials for new water connection.
- Procurement of equipment to support day-to-day management of the project, (ESIA, extension of Mangochi potable water supply project).

The main idea for initiating the project was to improve access to potable water in the surrounding areas. The project was planned to be done within 18 months and also expected to extend the customer base of southern region water board from 50, 000 to 93,000.

Source of project fund

Southern region water board with help from Malawi government identified Kuwait fund for Arab and Economic Development (KFAED) to finance the proposed project of extending water supply system to lakeshore areas. Target areas include Namiasi, Maldeco, Makawa, Mtakataka turn off and the holiday resorts along Lake Malawi. It was expected that the reliable supply of potable water from a mandated organization like southern region water board shall help to promote tourism.

Even though the project was initiated with a number of anticipation, it was discovered that it stalled for a number of months making it to fail being implemented and finished within the scheduled timeframe. It is for that purpose that this project is being conducted to evaluate the factors leading to causes of delays in implementation and completion of the project despite the community’s desperate need for clean water. The project has been constantly halted thereby delaying completion time. Ironically, preliminary investigation indicated that the money for the project and the consent from the community was obtained but the project was failing to be completed within the specified time. It therefore become interesting and this project intended to evaluate the factors leading to delays of implementation and completion of the project.

1.1. Statement of the problem

In the early months, February, of the year 2021, southern region water board embarked on a $14.4 million project to extend water supply system for domestic, tourism and industrial use in senior chief Nankumba of Mangochi district. The project was to construct a water treatment plant in Nkhudzi hill located near nkhudzi bay of Lake Malawi.

Basically in Malawi there are five operational water boards namely southern region water board (SRWB), Northern region water board, Lilongwe water board, Blantyre water board and central region water board. However this project was particularly initiated with SRWB as Mangochi district lies in its catchment area. The project was initiated as the area faces hardships in accessing reliable potable water due to its climate and problems in hydrological structure.

Mangochi district has a tropical savanna climate which is predominated by a rainy period with warm to hot conditions followed by a virtually rainless dry period with warm to cool conditions. Most commonly there is a single alternation of seasons or bimodal which is relatively hot. In general climate of Malawi is described as sub-tropical which is divided into three weather variations characterized as warm wet, cool dry winter and hot dry seasons. However since Mangochi is a tropical savanna climate, only two seasons of rainless dry and warm to cool periods are experienced in the district rendering the inhabitants to need more water for domestic use.

Sources of water in Malawi

The country generally obtain its water for industrial and domestic use from rivers, lakes, boreholes, pipes as well as direct from rainfalls. Water in Malawi is regarded as an essential natural resource shaping landscapes while being vital for ecosystem functioning and human well-being.

Generally Malawi has a number of water resources contained in aquifers, lakes and rivers. However Lake Malawi has the bulk of the country’s renewable surface water seconded by Shire River which act as the only outlet of the endowed lake. Almost all the water resources are replenished by rainfall and groundwater recharge. It is basically annual rainfall distribution which is critical in ensuring water resources availability over time in the country, (GoM 2008). Lake Malawi is available in Mangochi district and people in mwanyama village and surrounding areas utilize the lake as their main source of water. However the access to potable water in the area has always been a challenge as the ground water is mostly saline and water obtained direct from the lake mostly expose the inhabitants to a number of waterborne diseases and need a lot of pretreatment before consumption.

Access to safe water

The variations in seasons determine how households access water. For example in senior chief Nankumba, most people proportionately draw water from unprotected sources during the wet season. The type of water source is usually based on proximity which is mostly rainfall in rainy season (NSO 2009).

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Figure 1: situation overview of the Nkhuzi bay residents water source

(Photo credit: Rotary club of Limbe, district 9210)

The problem in the area is being exacerbated by the development of the area by the incoming of resorts, leisure centers and rapid population due to immigration into the area especially when Nkhudzi hill was declared one of the heritage sites in Malawi as part of Lake Malawi national park. The revelation of Lake Malawi being declared a heritage site, lead many people to flock to the place to see the historical sites and artefacts including biological water resources in area. The reasons that lead the area being declared a heritage site in 1984 are that the hill area was once used by early settlers of Malawi,Akafula.These people left a number of artifacts. The area is also close to a place in the lake that has outstanding biodiversity value with natural beauty. The area also contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity of fresh water fishes. The lake is a separate bio-geographical province whose fish diversity exists nowhere else in the world, (Kagosi Mwamulowe, 2013).

Among the developments in the area include resorts and lodges. The lodges are drawing water from underground while the mass population is still relying on lake as a source of water.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table I: Number and Percentage of population by main source of drinking water during dry season(NSO 2018).

The information in the table depict that most people in southern region of Malawi, (in which Mangochi is one of the districts), use boreholes which is ground water. Since the ground water in the area is saline, it justifies the need for the project by SRWB of extending water supply system in lakeshore areas of senior chief Nankumba of Mangochi district.

Water resource management challenges

Malawi has 139 hydrological stations and five operational water boards. Mangochi district however is under southern region water board and has other water users associations even though in mwanyama village there is no water user association as most people use Lake Malawi as a source of domestic water. The water obtained through rainfall is mostly lost through siltation and evaporation rendering the boreholes, rivers and streams or swamps ineffective during dry seasons. Salinity of the ground water forces people to rely on the lake water which need pre-treatment before consumption. The pit latrines used in the area also pose great risks to residents due to poorly understood threat of microbiological and chemical quality of the ground water sources (Back, Rivett et al. 2018).

Additionally, ground water contamination is further examined by the rise of nitrogen species (ammonium and nitrates), faecal and total coliform, virus detection, total dissolved solids (TDS), sodium, sulphates and chloride due to closeness to latrines. These factors contribute to the need to have reliable potable water from a seasoned domestic water supplier.

Another problem in Malawi is that periodical monitoring for the water quality is not done due to budgetary constraints,(MoAIWD, 2014).For example groundwater monitoring in 2012 was carried out at only 18 boreholes out of the established 35 specimen boreholes.

Regarding water quality monitoring, there are 195 water quality monitoring points in Malawi whose purposes are classified into three categories:

1. surface water
2. pollution control located at outlets of effluent sources
3. Ground water.

As such water boards are considered to produce reliable potable water as they have water treatment points. In this case, SRWB has 5 water points which are referred to as schemes or zones. Of the schemes, there are also 23 sub schemes of which Nkhudzi hill project was expected to increase the number of zones. (JICA, 2014).

1.1.1. Water Treatment Plant

Method of water treatment by the southern region water board is classified into the rapid sand filtration and the slow sand filtration. Among them, pressure tanks with the rapid sand filter are commonly utilized in all regions. Most of the times water boards combine all the three treatment processes to ensure efficient reduction of possible disease causing agents that may be available in water. This is the reason SRWB was permitted and planned to extend the water supply for a long distance as they relied on pressure pumps. On the other hand, the groundwater from the boreholes has only chlorination treatment which is also difficult due to economic factors as the treatment need prior knowledge as well as money to purchase the chemical. In some incidences chlorination is also included by SRWB thereby making the water by the water board more reliable.

1.1.2. Domestic Water Treatment Techniques

The methods for treating water are categorized as physical, chemical, biological, and mechanical. Basically in Malawi water purification for domestic use is done by chemicals which are always unavailable due to insufficient funding projects and economic hardships of the rural residents. The main idea behind treating domestic water is to make it suitable for consumption and reduce pollution (Manda, Chidya et al. 2016).

Other methods employed to treat water include three pot system that relies on allowing sediments and pathogens attached to the water to settle at the bottom of the water container together with solids, thereby purifying the water.

In this system, each day new water is brought into the house:

- Water stored in pot 2 is slowly poured into pot 3 and pot 2 is washed.
- Then slowly pour water stored in pot 1 into pot 2 then wash pot 1.
- Then collected water from source in pot 4 is poured into pot 1. (Brian Reed, 2017)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2. Diagrammatic presentation of water treatment technique

Using this strategy expect the water to considerably contain fewer bacteria and die off of Schistosoma larvae when left for a day or two. Even though the process is within the control of the household, it pose a health risk as some bacteria and micro-organism might remain in water after treatment. The process is also not favorable for poor household as it need at least more than two pots.

Other methods which can also be employed at household level include boiling, home chlorination, bio-sand/slow sand filter, ceramic silver impregnated filters and solar disinfection, SODIS. These techniques need prior knowledge and also not favorable economically despite as well failing to remove chemical contamination from detergents and effluents. The SODIS method involve putting water in transparent bottles for at least six hours (Enoch Firmin, Haiti). This technique is also not favorable as turbid water especially in rainy season need pre-treatment and it’s not efficient in cold wet seasons.

Before the initiation and development of the project, community members were relying on boreholes. They have been drawing water directly from the lake without treatment and have been very much affected with water borne diseases especially under five children.

The project was justified to ensure access to improved water supply which would improve health and productivity of the residents. This is because water was expected to be available within reasonable distance.

1.1.3. Existing water supply system by SRWB in Mangochi

Source of the water

Water for the project is currently expected to be extracted from Shire river using submersible pumps placed on the piers of old Mangochi Bridge, near Bakili Muluzi Bridge.

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Figure 3: Intake pipe of SRWB in Mangochi, Shire River.

Water treatment in Mangochi

The water in Mangochi produced by SRWB is treated through a process that consist;

- The treatment flow division
- Coagulant dosing and flashing mixing
- Floculators
- Clarifiers
- Rapid sand filters
- Laboratory facilities to conduct water analyses
- Chemical dosing station and chemical storage

Storage facilities

The water from the treatment plant is pumped into an elevated steel tank located within the treatment plant with capacity of 250 m[3] tank. The water from the tank is further pumped into two satellite tanks located at Chomba and Ntagaluka areas. It is the water from Chomba that gravitate to Kalonga village tank. The supply from the satellite tanks is based on gravity, (ESIA-extension of Mangochi potable water supply project, 2021).

The construction of Nkhudzi hill treatment plant was one way of extending the water supply system to the residents of Mangochi district specifically Mwanyama village of senior chief Nankumba. The project was expected to help alleviate the problem of water borne diseases which shall help government reduce money spent in treating these diseases. The residents were also expected to benefit as they shall focus on other economic activities unlike using a lot of time and energy in treating water for consumption. The project also was expected to create employment opportunities both during construction and operation even in supply of services and goods.

The project among others expected to increase trade opportunities as the demand for goods and services by contractors and workers thereby benefitting government through taxes. On the other hand, the residents were expected to benefit from improved water supply by reducing women drudgery which are mostly left to fetch water. This shall also enable the females to engage in economic activities. The surrounding lodges were also expected to be supplied with properly treated water according to Malawi bureau of standards unlike their own substandard treated water.

In general the project was much anticipated by government as well as the community members because of the following reasons;

1. Shall improve access to potable water source
2. Shall improve sanitation, hygiene and health of the community.
3. Shall improve socio-economic situation of the communities.
4. Shall increase revenue generation by government
5. Enhanced gender and women participation in development programs.
6. Shall increase educational benefits of the girl as they shall not be left to fetch water for the household once connection to water pipe is done.

Quality assessment

To ensure the water supplied to Mangochi meet the standard water quality, southern region water board central laboratory located in Zomba, conduct quarterly water quality monitoring tests for the Mangochi site. These tests are conducted in compliance to national and international water quality standards. Though SRWB conduct quarterly water quality tests, Mangochi as a treatment site, conduct routine tests on daily basis on pH, turbidity and residual chlorine.

The effort by SRWB in ensuring water quality gave Malawi government confidence to solicit fund for the project to extend the water supply system to the residents of Nkhudzi Hill surrounding areas. Since the area is surrounded by lodges, this means government would also increase revenue collection if water for lodges is to be supplied by SRWB. The government also expected to benefit from the project by increased tax collection from wages, goods purchased for construction.

Option and hope for action

In order to ensure every part of Malawi is habitable, the country enacted a number of regulation strategies that focuses on poverty reduction and growth development. This include access to good drinking water and sanitation through the construction and rehabilitation of water facilities and reduction in waterborne diseases. It is for that reason that the Malawi government in collaboration with Southern region water board consolidated effort to fund the water project of Nkhuzi Hill treatment plant.

Even though the Mangochi water supply system extension project had so many anticipated benefits, it met a number of resistances to implement. Despite using a number of approaches to ensure project is completed within the stipulated duration of 18 months, it is observed that the project was derailed. Actually there are a number of factors delaying the project completion and it is for that reason the project is being conducted to evaluate the factors leading to the water supply extension project delays.

1.2. Objectives of the study

1.2.1 General research objective

The project is being conducted with the main objective to evaluate major factors causing delays of the implementation of Nkhudzi water treatment plant project in Mangochi district.

1.2.2 Specific study objectives

The specific objectives of the evaluation project however are to;

1. Identify causes of delay in the implementation of extension of water supply system in Mangochi.
2. Evaluate strategies SRWB undertake to mitigate the delay and its impact.
3. Suggest strategies that can be used to alleviate delays in construction of water supply system projects.

1.3 Research questions

The study is expected to be guided by among others the following questions;

i. Identify major cause of the delay in extension of the water supply system project.
ii. Assess the practices that the implementing agent utilize to alleviate the delays and its effects.

1.4 Significance of the study

The failure to manage causes of project delay and their factors has a great hampering responsibility to project completion. Basically project delays make implementing agents to experience cost and time overrun which compromises quality and probably miss the scope. With proper planning, execution and monitoring, the life of any project can be saved. This study is expected to give an over view of the causes of the delays in extension project of water supply system of Nkhudzi water treatment plant and effects of those delays.

When delays are not properly managed, it can cause dispute between stakeholders due to unmet responsibilities. The research is expected to evaluate the causes so as to give hint to project stakeholders of their responsibilities in ensuring project control and success.

Generally there are a lot of reports about Nkhudzi Hill water project though there is no available research about the causes of delay. Ironically most of the people suggesting the need to stop the project do not live in the area or district which hampers the residents’ right to access quality water. SRWB being a mandated organization to supply clean water to Malawi citizens, is expected to follow guidelines in millennium development goals strategies III of Malawi to supply water. However the project delay is hampering the organization’s mandated responsibility

So the project about evaluating the causes of the project delay shall enable even other water boards to draw lessons from the analysis of the implementation strategies.

The study will have a number of significant contributions;

-The study highlight major causes of the delay for the extension project of Nkhudzi hill treatment plant.
-The recommendations and findings are relevant for management of the project implementation as attentions can be drawn from points where corrective actions are needed.
-The study can easily be used to stimulate other research activities.
-The study can guide policy makers to include other important elements in their project management guidelines.
-The study can assist future project implementing agents on relevant style of approach.

1.5. Scope of the study

The project focuses on the study of factors causing the delay of construction of Nkhudzi Hill water treatment plant by Southern Region Water Board. The water supply system extension project is to be implemented in senior chief Nankumba specifically Mwanyama village. The study does not consider opinions of implementing organization as it has their own style of project management. However where necessary, their input to ensure study success will be invited. As such the study targeted project stakeholders, donors, project managers, consultants, contractors, project teams and beneficiaries.


Some respondents have been reluctant to give answers as they assume that the questions may be generated to spy on them. To avoid such assumptions, opinion questions were limited and option to skip them on questionnaire was permissible and explanation that this study is for academic purpose to help project implementers avoid future delays were provided. The study is also expected not to consider perception of clients and finance people to avoid omitting important information that lead to project delays.

1.6 Definition of important terms used

Project delayrefers to an unplanned or unexpected deferment of a project because of some event or occurrence that impedes the project's commencement or completion.

Water supply systemdefine a system of engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components that provide water supply to a resident area.

Akafula,dwarfs,also referred to as abathwa or amwandionerapati refers to early settlers of Malawi around 1800 B.C that are assumed to have lived in Nkhudzi hill.

Water treatment plantmeans a structure used to improve the physical, chemical, or biological quality of the water in a public water system.

Conservationistdefines a person advocating or acting for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife.

Research structuring

The study is structured into five chapters. Chapter one deal with background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions, and objectives of the study, definition of terms used, and significance of the study. Lastly is the scope & limitations of the study. Chapter two on the other hand is all about review of both empirical and conceptual literature of water treatment plants construction and a delay. Chapter three is presenting design of the study. Methods and procedure used, tools of research or sources of data, techniques of data collection and description of the techniques used. Then chapter four is summarizing analysis and presentation of data. Finally, chapter five is presenting summary of findings, conclusion and recommendation

Chapter two Literature review

2.0. Review of related literature

Water purification for drinking and other household use in Malawi is by use of chemicals and they are always unavailable due to insufficient funding projects for the provision of the chemicals to the rural residents, (Mumba Mercy1, et al, 2021).

To ensure water safety, Malawi developed Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) to improve people's lives by promoting sustainable water resource development, management, and use (Chidya, Sajidu et al. 2011) of which southern region water board is mandated to provide the water. Actually access to clean water and sanitation is declared as a human right by United Nations in 2010 (UN, 2013).

Even though it is a human right to access clean water, but practice of project planning and scheduling associated to water projects have significant influence on delivery delay, (Hassan, 2019). The delays are classified based on their categories like material, manpower, financing, changes, environmental, government action, contractual relations, equipment and scheduling and controlling techniques, (Teketel Mathiwos, 2018).

Basically project that is requiring any time more than what is actually needed to complete a project is considered as a delayed project (Fugar and Agyakwah-Baah, 2010). Like the case of Nkhudzi water project, it was delayed by complete 5 months excluding intermittent disturbances leading to postponement of some days work. The causes of delay are significant and should be given attention by client organizations, consultants and contractors to enable the timely completion of projects in future, (Kamanga, Moses, et al, 2013).

Preliminary literature review identified that the project was stalled by injunctions from interested stakeholders. This was among others because the lake is a world heritage site declared in 1984, (UNESCO). This is because the lake is a bio-geographical province whose fish diversity exists nowhere else in the world, (Kagosi Mwamulowe, 2013). It is feared that any work in the surrounding area can disturb the scenery and biodiversity as eroded soil may silt the lake.

The delayed project for SRWB is an extension project of Mangochi treatment plant which is the 5th scheme for the board, (JICA 2014). As such, this project is being conducted to evaluate the factors that lead to the delay of the project despite many positive expectations about the project.

2.2 Historical and organization structure of southern region water board

Southern region water board is a statutory corporate body established under water works act number 17 of 1995. The board took over infrastructures previously used by then District Water Supply Fund in the ministry of works, supplies and water supply of southern region. The body was established to supply quality and safe water to urban and peri-urban areas of the region which comprise of Mangochi and other districts except Blantyre city which has its own water board, (Dana Van der Velden).

The board consist of 5 zones, Zomba, Liwonde, Mangochi, Mulanje and Ngabu. The zones are further subdivided into 25 supply areas which include Zomba, Mwanza, Chiradzulu, Namadzi, ku Chawe, Domasi, Neno, Liwonde, Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Monkey Bay, Namwera, Mulanje, Thyolo, Luchenza, Muloza, Phalombe, Mikolongwe, Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Ngabu, Nsanje, Bangula, Nchalo and Chikwawa, (Strategic plan 2018-2022 SRWB, July 2018). It is in Mangochi from which the extension project is planned to be taken from.

The board directly reports to the ministry of water and sanitation for all technical matters. However, administratively, the board reports to department of statutory corporations. The major shareholder of SRWB is ministry of finance, economic planning and development. The board of director appointed by the government govern the southern region water board of which the Chief Executive Officer is responsible for general management of the water board, (Strategic plan 2018-2022 SRWB, July 2018).

The southern region water board is however currently operating under ministry of water and sanitation. The project which was delayed falls under Mangochi zone that has three treatment plants, Mangochi boma, Namwera and Monkeybay. The Nkhudzi project is an extension of Mangochi plant.

2.3 Operational definitions

Project: a group of tasks performed in a definable time period with focus to meet a specific objective. The project usually has time plan and works within the specified budget as it need for a life cycle to be completed for the scope. The PMBOK Guide defined a project as ―A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service (PMBOK, 2017).

Project delay:Any project requiring any time more than what is actually needed to complete is considered a delayed project (Fugar and Agyakwah-Baah, 2010).

Effects of delay: Consequences directly attributed to the project delay based on the perception of the clients, contractors and consultants is taken as effect of delay (Werku and Jha 2016).

Water supply and access in Malawi

Malawi is greatly comprised of water that cover almost 21 % of land though access to clean water remains a challenge. This is exacerbated as majority rely on ground water specifically from rivers, wells and lakes of which 61.7 % rely on bore holes. In southern region however, only 9.4 % use piped water, (NSO 2018).

Actually water is regarded as vital resource that when safely and sufficiently services are available, it becomes important in maintaining and safeguarding health of residents as well as environment, (Manda, 2016). Basically water is required in almost all basic needs of life like health, economic growth, food production including support for environmental ecosystem, (Bjorklund 2001). Even though water is very essential, majority of people in Mangochi rely on unsafe drinking water sources like rivers, lakes and open wells including boreholes that is inadequately disinfected.

Domestic water supply remain a challenge in quality and sanitation services especially in developing countries like Malawi. Public utilities provide about 90 % of the sanitation services and water supply to urban areas, (Kalulu and Hoko, 2010).

In Malawi growth of industries, agriculture and population is contributing to discharge of the waste water into the environment that makes its way into the water resources like boreholes, rivers, streams, shallow wells and others. This is contributing to water quality distortion that result in negative impact on well-being of residents, (Mumba mercy, Kilingo Flory Mkangombe and Prof. Zhang Yongji, 2021).

As of 2008, only 65 % of Malawians had access to clean water thereby exposing people to waterborne diseases, (Pritchard, Mkandawire et al. 2008). Improving the situation in Malawi remain a challenge due to inadequate finance and population growth.

The contributing factor is also that available water for consumption in Malawi is mostly boreholes, rivers, springs, lakes, streams and shallow wells which are mostly polluted by household and farming activities.

In Malawi 2.9 % of people use piped water in dwellings, 7.4 % use water piped into yard/plot, 8.1 % use community stand pipes, 5.2 % use protected wells with 61.7 % using boreholes. The other people especially in rural areas use unprotected wells 8.0%, spring 0.6%, river/stream 5.0%, dam 0.4% and other unspecified water sources at 0.7%, (NSO 2018). This data justify the inexorable need to have clean potable water.

There are many technologies that can be used and specifically developed to help in improving the quality of drinking water. These technologies introduces treatment techniques though they face obstacles to implement, (Kayser, Amjad et al. 2015). The challenges to implement treatment techniques is contributed by a number of factors of which this paper is reviewing the factors leading to project delays in water supply system specifically for Nkhudzi water project in Mangochi.

2.4 Concept of project success

Project delay lead companies and organizations to experience cost overrun thereby causing them to miss deadlines or even derail projects. It is the hope for every project manager to ensure project are completed within the stipulated time frame. According to Gregory M. Horine, project success would be defined as any project that has met the following criteria;

Delivered as expected:when project produce all the projected deliverables.

Completed on time:completion is achieved within the agreed upon schedule.

Delivered within quality:deliverables are in line to functional, performance and scope guidelines.

Achieved original purpose: when goals and objectives including purpose of the project are achieved.

Met the stakeholders’ expectations:the key stakeholders should be able to accept the project deliverables without reservation.

Win-win situation is maintained:the project should meet the needs with a focus on people. It should as well trigger enthusiasm and eagerness to repeat the experience, (Gregory M, 2011).

For the project to be completed within the scope, time and budget, there are some ways to be applied to mitigate causes of project delays which can include:

a. Setting realistic goals
b. Ensure everyone understand their roles as well as the purpose of the project as a whole.
c. Update project plan to factor in how much time and money it will cost, (Umhlaba development services, 2017).

Project success has been referred to as reaching the objectives and the predetermined results in compliance with predetermined conditions of time, cost and performance. The triple constraints of project success can also be identified as complex, multidimensional complex encompassing many attributes, (Emil CRISAN, Ph.D, et al, 2015).

2.5 Theoretical review of project delay

Basically it is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure the project constraints are managed properly to achieve the unique expected product. Usually, project managers apply a project management methodology to their work and in this case a methodology define a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline, (PMBOK, 6th edition 2017). The project constraints include cost, time and scope of which at some intervals quality is incorporated, (Derege Mengistu, 2021).

Experience however reveals that quality encompass the triple constraints, scope, time and cost, as achieving them ensure quality.

Generally among the factors that attribute to project delays include project complexity, changes in project scope, poor planning, and inaccurate estimate for project requirements, unengaged stakeholders, communication breakdown and even the changes in client interests.

Mathiwos in 2018 classified the causes of project delay into;

- material,
- manpower,
- equipment,
- financing,
- environmental,
- changes in client interests,
- government action,
- contractual relations
- Scheduling and control techniques.

Effects of project delay

Zack in 2003, defined delay as an act or event which extends required time to perform or complete work of the contract by manifesting additional number of days. In 2014, Dinakar, described delay as the slowing down of work without stopping construction entirely and that lead to time overrun either beyond the contract time or beyond scheduled date by parties for the delivery. Sometimes the delay can however be complete stalling of the project due to a specified or unspecified issue.

It is generally difficult to point out the causes of project delay as there are a number of overlapping events leading to the causes of project deferment. However, overall analysis indicate that most delays lead to cost overrun, time overrun, total desertion, Litigation, lawsuit, abandonment, (Tushar Khattri, Sohit Agarwal, et al, 2016). As such the effects of the delay impact differently on the stakeholders depending on how connected the stakeholder is to the project though majority experience cost overrun or time overrun even missed scope. Both the contractor and the client experience a remarkable loss in wealth and time.

In general the effects of deferment of project are disputed between client and contractor, cost overrun and time overrun. The problems can be solved through abandonment in extreme cases or by negotiation to find amicable solution. Where the agreement between parties is not reached, project delay has led to lawsuit, litigation as well as total desertion.

2.6 Empirical review


Financial problems, inflation, late payment are among the reasons causing project delays in developing countries like Malawi, (D. Aydin and E. Mihlayanlar, 2018). On the other hand, developed countries experiences project delays due to change orders by the client, planning and programming errors, slowness in decision by client, (Kumar 2016). However there are effects that emanate due to delay in project delivery in all sectors regardless of developmental level which are time overrun, cost overrun, (Sarikaya, 2010). It is also good to note that these delays in the sectors are shaped by different internal and external influences on local scale. It is for that reason that this project of evaluating factors leading to Nkhudzi project delay is being conducted.

The project has been selected since it is recent and the data will be easy to consolidate as the researcher lives in proximity to the setting of study.

Tsegay Gebrehiwet and Hanbin Luo described the causes on project delay based on stages like pre-construction, construction and post construction. Generally, the causes discussed include corruption, unavailability of utilities at the site, inflation or price increase in materials, lack of quality materials, late design and design documents, slow delivery of materials, late in approving and receiving of complete project work, poor site management and performance leading to disputes, defects, and cost overrun. The other causes of the project delay are attributed to late release of budget/funds and ineffective project planning and scheduling.

The project under study will help analyze the causing factors leading to delay.

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Figure 4: Conceptual framework for project delay analysis system, (Raj Kapur Shah)

Reduction of delay impacts

As a way to minimize the impacts of project delay, [Ezeokomkwo in 1995], suggested measures to be engaged and assumed effective when applied. The suggested measures as by Tunde Akinsulire include:

- Construction project must not be embarked on without adequate provision for sources of finance.
- The contractor should provide clear work breakdown structure in bar chart, CPM and PERT formats.
- Construction contract should be awarded to competent and experienced contractors having registered builders in his team.
- Effective communication should be maintained among project execution team.
- Priority should be given to people with relevant professional training (qualifications / experience) to administer the projects from inception to completion.
- Project must be embarked on upon adequate planning which include proper feasibility studies, cost planning techniques and project monitoring.

When a project become successful, the benefits are observed by both community and the nation as it help to sustain national development goals. Despite the benefits of project completion, a number of factors need to be managed properly for a successful completion of projects. There are a number of factors that lead to project success and in 2006, Lo, Fung and Tung made some suggestions that determine project success which include hiring competent project managers, having a multidisciplinary/competent execution project team, ensure availability of resources, conducting frequent progress meeting, ensure accurate initial cost and time estimates.

The awards should as well be given to a competent/right/experienced consultant and contractor, proper use of past experience, community involvement to ensure project ownership transfer. The project should also be effective and strategically planned with clear information and communication channels while avoiding bureaucracy.

Improving the situation of construction project also require enforcing the liquidated damage clauses and offering incentives for early completion, human resource development through proper training and using a design-build and construction project management approach in awarding the contracts, (Assaf and l-hejji, 2006).

2.7 Literature review summary

It is very hard to point out the main cause of the project delay as different project have different causes of delays. The factors may range from financial to environmental contributions. Even though a number of researchers have conducted research on project delay, it is found that the contributing factors are mostly different both at regional level as well as at national or international level with some linkages to similar findings. The differences can be attributed to experience of the project managers or it might be the reason each project is defined as a unique endeavor and need to be handled differently.

In Malawi there are a number of water supply projects that have been delayed like the cases of Dziwe la Nkhalamba in mulanje district for Blantyre water board that stalled for almost a year, Salima-Lilongwe water project that is frequently in and out of courts and a number of integrated urban water and sanitation projects whose starting and finishing dates are unknown.

Ironically there is no available literature on review of delaying factors except for numerous research on road construction delay projects. Therefore there is a need to investigate the causes of delays in water supply system projects of Malawi specifically for Nkhudzi water project.

Table 2:synthesis of causes of project delay by different researchers

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Source: Derege Mengistu 2021 and owner 2022.

2.8 Conceptual framework

The chapter analyses the representation of the main concepts and variables under study in regard to the presumed relationship with each other. Literature review has basically been added to summarize ideas of past literature in order to bring out the contribution to the present study.

The factors leading to project delay can conceptually be classified as design or changes related, material related, labor related, equipment related, finance and administration related including contractual and external factors, (Derege Mengistu, 2021).

Basically some causes of project delays can be controlled while other factors are generally out of control.

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Figure 5. Depiction of factors in control and out of control for project delays, (Rentaga, 2021)


3.0 Introduction

This chapter presents the methodology employed for the study. It focuses on areas of the study and explain reasons for the choice of the area. Explanation on research design and approach, population, sample and data collection methods used during data collection has also been provided. Explanation of instrument validation and data collection and analysis has also been done in this chapter.

3.1 Research Design

A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure (J. Mexon and Anandar Kumar, 2020). It is a plan that shows approach and strategy of investigation chosen to obtain valid and reliable data in achieving the research objectives and answer research questions. The researcher employed a case study design because the case study design place emphasis on a full contextual analysis of a fewer events or conditions and their interrelations.

In 2004, Kothari explained case study as complete and careful observation form of a qualitative analysis of a social unit that place more emphasis on the full analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their interrelations. The case study helped to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real world subject. This enable exploration of key traits, definitions and implications of the case.

Research at hand therefore used case study as it emphasizes on a full contextual analysis of one event or condition and its interrelations. In some specific conditions, descriptive design was used whereby data collection from respondents was collected using questionnaire. The cause of delay for the project implementation was identified from the implanting organization perspective and the district council of Mangochi including residents of surrounding areas.

3.2. Research Approach

The research followed a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative approach. However much focus emphasized qualitative approach. Qualitative data collection is provided for thorough provision of comment section in a close-ended questionnaire enabling respondents to add depth responses given quantitatively.

The aspect of the study expected to provide in depth evaluation of the factors causing delays of implementation of Nkhudzi water project. The quantitative design provided consistent results of the collected data as gathered data is quantified using statistical tools.

3.3. Area of Study

The research population consisted of stakeholders for the project. The residents of Nkhudzi village were engaged and the project implementing team was also involved. The employees of SRWB were invited to fill questionnaires provided.

3.4. Study population and sampling

Population means a well-defined collection of individuals or objects known to have similar characteristics or traits. The study targeted the people that are working on the implementation project. That is the project manager, district planning officer, site engineers and officers that constituted around 60 participants with inclusion of village headman to be made part of the research population. The residents in the surrounding areas were used to help in case study.

Table 3: Number of expected respondents

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Source: designed and compiled by the researcher.

3.5. Data collection methods and Instruments

Both primary and secondary data was applied in data collection techniques. This helped in obtaining in-depth information of how the project was being implemented and control system of the organization.

The primary data involved collection of data for the first time from key respondents. A questionnaire was designed in assessing ideas from project managers, site engineers and project team on the causes of implementation delay. On the other side, secondary data from related researches and reports in newspapers and supplementary data from SRWB and Mangochi district planning office was used to augment reliability of missing data from the conducted survey.

Generally desk review was as well conducted to consolidate secondary sources. The validity and reliability of collected data was done by triangulation.

3.6. Data validity and reliability

Haller and Kleine (2011) said that all good studies whether quantitative or qualitative need to be valid and reliable. Tate (2006) argued that the state of being valid concerns with the accuracy, acceptability and significance of research theory and its studies. According to him, these are related to the truthfulness of the theoretical concepts and ideas that support and provide basics for first-hand research. These include content validity, face validity and conceptual validity. On the other hand, validity relating to practice concern the reliability of research strategies used in the observed investigation and the honesty of the conclusions drawn from the study. These include construct validity, analytical validity, ecological validity and internal validity. Since qualitative research studies trace on people’s personal experiences, perfect validity is not theoretically possible.

Kitchin & Tate (2000) defined reliability as the repeatability or steadiness of findings. May (2002), argued that the statement of the results should however be acknowledged that qualitative research aims at getting feelings, views and attitudes of a limited number of research participants

Therefore, this study will agree with Kirk and Miller (2011) that defined validity as the degree to which the finding is interpreted in a correct way. Reliability is similarly defined as the degree to which the finding is independent of unintended situations of the research.

Several measures were taken to ensure that the study is valid and reliable. This allowed the researcher to investigate further to produce longer answers from participants to ensure clear understanding of what participants contributed. Besides that, the questions were asked in a number of ways to reduce the chances of misunderstanding.

3.7. Primary data

Primary data refers to data collected by a researcher from first hand sources using methods like Questionnaires, Surveys / web-based surveys, Transcripts of interviews, Field notes from focus groups, Observations, Charts, maps, tables or diagrams and Archives, including documents, reports. In this study, questionnaires, interview and observations were used to collect primary data.

3.7.1. Interview

Interview is a structured conversation where one participant asks questions and the other provides answers. In short, interview is a one on one conversation conducted between researcher and the respondents.

3.7.2. Questionnaire

This is reserved for scheduled interview to compare the researcher’s perception about the problem. It focused on achieving objectives and answering research questions.

3.7.3. Observation

Involve data collection by watching behavior, events, or nothing physical characteristics in their natural setting. Since the research is just to evaluate causative agents of the project delay, covert approach was used to observe. Wherever necessary, an overt style was also employed while concealing the observer.

3.8. Data Analysis Plan

The findings are presented using descriptive statistical method. This enable finding solution to a problem under study. The required information was gathered and analyzed using qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques. Then it was edited, entered into data analysis software application, cleaned and coded making it ready for analysis.

3.8.1. Data Editing

Editing involve examining data collected through several methods to detect errors and omissions and correct them for further analysis (Kumar and Mexon, 2020). Information under the study was checked to ensure accuracy, consistency, uniformity and well arranged to simplify analysis.

3.8.2. Data Entry

The collected data was entered into data analysis software application of the computer, cleaned making it ready for analysis.

3.8.3. Data Coding

The process involved assigning numerals or symbols to the responses to facilitate efficient analysis of collected data. This reduces collected data into amenable form. From the questionnaires and data entry, data was kept in the format that produce best outputs. It is after coding when data was analyzed.

3.9. Ethical Considerations

In assessing information, perceptions and opinions of respondents were respected. At all scenario, consent from participants was solicited and personal answers were kept confidential (Greenwood, 2016). As the project is for national interest despite being conducted in one district, responsibility on scientific research was maintained to the optimum level where possible.

The survey basically ensure;

- The respondents are not harmed in any possible way.
- The dignity and honor of the participants were respected and prioritized.
- Confidentiality of the participant’s information was maintained.
- Special consideration was made to avoid false and misleading information.

Table 4: Project Time Schedule and work plan

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Task 1: research project orientation

- Project kick off meeting
- Submission of research topic
- Review and understanding of research problem statement

Task 2: draft literature review

- Defining the problem and research question, including related issues.
- Theoretic context
- Data resources and their quality.

Task 3: draft research methodology

- The task identified and describe required data, variables and specification of analysis techniques.

Task 4: viva voce I

Task 5: data collection

- Collection of data for analysis as identified in the research methodology was conducted.

Task 6: data analysis

- Analysis of data collected in task 5 specifically using the methods as anticipated. Wherever deviation from the literature review occurred, it was documented.

Task 7: draft final report

Publication for the final report ready as prescribed by the university in the format.

Task 8: draft research note

Writing of the abstract for the research project. The executive summary consider findings, value of the research to the university as well as society. It include limitations on the use of findings.

Task 9: viva voce II

Task 10: final report

Editing of final report to incorporate changes identified by the research supervisor and the coordinator or external examiners during the viva voce.

Task 11: final research note

Edit draft research note to incorporate edits identified in preparation for publication of final report on suggested website.

CHAPTER 4 Analysis and interpretation of data

4.0 Introduction

This chapter reviews the results and analysis of the qualitative data, compilation of the questionnaire and the interview results. It also focuses on the analysis of the quantitative findings of the study.

4.1 Background and knowledge of the respondents

Section A of the questionnaire focuses on identifying whether the stakeholders engaged in the study have enough background information to assist for compilation of data. The section tries to understand their familiarity to construction delay, level of engagement in the project that was delayed, length of experience in construction of water projects. It also investigated from the stakeholders the duration of the project delay.

4.1.1 Construction delay familiarity

Nkhuzi water project was classified as a large scale project. This signifies that the construction of the project was scheduled to take a period of more than one year for commissioning to take place. Generally small scale water projects are expected to be accomplished within a timeframe of one year. However the survey conducted on the project discovered a delay of eight months with a total lapse of 5 months. Basically the project is discovered to have been delayed with an average of 4.4 months

Table 5: familiarity of the respondents to the project

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4.1.2 Position of respondents in the project

To ensure a good view of the project delay was captured, the survey engaged a number of stakeholders at every level of hierarchy. This include district planning officer (1.67%), project managers (5%), site engineers (8.33%), work officers (26.67%), chiefs (8.33%) and the other community members (50%).

4. 2 Discussion of Results

4.2.1 Questionnaire analysis

The questionnaire is divided into two section which are background and knowledge of the respondents on the water supply extension project. The other section is about causes of the extension construction delay which have been divided into 8 subsections.

4.2.2. Factors leading to project delay

The research questionnaire, in the part of causes of delay, constituted of eight subsections with categories of cause of delay and their severity.

These categories are classified based on the subsections area they are related to. Design change related:

change order, change in drawings, change in specification, decisions during development stage, design development, design approval, mistakes and description in design documents, change in subsurface condition and change in scope of project. Material related:

Quality of materials, late material supply and scarcity of material in market. Labor related:

Shortage of labor, low productivity level of labor and low skill of labor. Equipment related:

improper equipment, equipment unavailability and equipment labor. Finance related:

delayed payment to contractors, delayed payment to suppliers and subcontractors, client’s finance shortage, financial difficulties faced by the contractor, difficulty in accessing credit, ill-financed project, and fluctuations of prices/rising cost of materials. Management related:

organizational changes, old technology, poor supervision, poor site management, mistakes in construction, unrealistic contract duration, inaccurate cost estimation, not preparing the method statement, inappropriate organization management, less emphasis to planning, ineffective planning and scheduling of the project, inadequate contractor experience, inadequate consultant experience, underestimation of the complexity of the project, and many provisional sums and primes. Contractual:

non utilization of professional construction/contractual management, delay in delivering site project to contractor, delay in approval of documents, unsmooth internal and external communications, lack of communication between parties, slowness in giving instruction, slowness in decision making process, duration of inspection procedure, Suppliers, delay in performance of subcontractors and problems with subcontractor. External:

regulatory changes, Laws-regulations, building permit approval, natural disasters and adverse weather conditions.

Basically the delays for a construction project are explained as falling into four types. These include;

1. Excusable delays
2. Non excusable delays
3. Compensable delays
4. Concurrent delays

Excusable delays describe attributing factors that have nothing to do with the contractor.

Mostly this involve delaying factors due to unforeseen circumstances like force majeure or any unanticipated events that hampers the completion date. On the other hand non excusable delays constitute factors which are foreseeable. This can include the contractor’s failure to fulfil specifications or any negligence by both client as well as the contractor.

The compensable delays however are those delays that permit the contractor to ask for extra payment due to the change in project durations. These delays are usually caused by change in scope of work, late supply or submission of client material, impedes to access the project sites, site conditions differing to project document specifications. The other causative factor can also be delay in providing project reviews. In this case, the innocent party is given opportunity to extend time and addition cost is given to compensate the extra time. Lastly is the concurrent delay which basically occur due to overlapping of delaying factors. In this case, relevant factors entitle the contractor extension time while irrelevant factors mount the pressure on the contractor to compensate the delay.

Summary of results

Based on the responses of the study, it was established that the delay was due to external factors as most internal factors negligibly contributed to the delay.

The reflection of respondents’ view of the cause is depicted in the diagrams below.

Figure 6: the delay is due to laws – regulations

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Figure 7: the delay is due to building permit approval

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In summary the study revealed the following top causes of the delay;

- Laws-regulations
- Building permits approval
- Late material supply

4.2.3 Strategies SRWB undertake to mitigate the delay and its impact

Despite prevailing protests from conservationist that obtained injunction against implementing a project inside Lake Malawi National park, Malawi government through the SRWB rolled out construction work of a water project, (Charles Mpaka, July 2022). Actually the injunctions and restraining orders were obtained because Nkhuzi hill is inside Lake Malawi National park which is the world’s first underwater national park and a UNESCO world heritage site. As such the area has a lot of endemic flora and fauna. The project was assumed to have upper hand in aiding loss of vegetative cover, disturbance of wildlife and aesthetic scenery.

To ensure the project does not experience subsequent back lash facilitating further delays, SRWB implemented the project with adherence to the recommendations made in a revised ESIA report (ESIA report, SRWB- June, 2022) which include;

- Water abstraction has to be in accordance to the water right, which SRWB will be required to obtain before the project can be implemented.
- During construction, the contractor should avoid clearing any protected or endangered plant species and those removed should be replaced.
- Rescue archaeology needs to be conducted in all significant sites after completion of initial test excavations and before the actual start of the project.
- Archaeological and world heritage monitoring of land transformation activities by the department of museums and monuments should be implemented during the construction phase of the project.
- Relocate endangered species where possible.
- Contractor training and awareness program must be carried out before land transformation activities.

4.2.4 Strategies that can be used to alleviate delays on construction of water supply system projects

There are number of ways to avoid project delays. In mitigating the delays, it is necessary to understand that each project has unique issues. As such approach differ from one project to another.

There is actually a need to develop a framework that illustrate steps, guidelines for actions against the delay problems. This can help minimize problems, assist concerned teams understand the situation and probably solve or avoid. Generally, projects pass through a number of phases which include planning, execution, implementation and closure. In this case, the delay could have been avoided by developing a plan, estimate required time and manage available resources. Design phase could also have put up alternatives and provide a follow up mechanism to the public on the strategies being used. Specialists could have properly been consulted to prepare documents in reference to available ethics and regulations. Nevertheless following ideas may be used to alleviate construction delays;

- Pay special attention to project planning.
- Set realistic deadlines and achievable goals.
- Have a precise understanding of project requirements.
- Ensure smooth distribution of roles and responsibilities.
- Conduct performance tracking and analysis.
- Ensure smooth communication flow.

Chapter 5 Summary of findings, discussions, conclusions and recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter discusses the findings and summary of the study and present conclusions, recommendations and probably suggestions for further studies. The study was conducted to evaluate the factors leading to the delay of Nkhuzi water supply extension project in Mangochi. The variables evaluated were design change, material, labor, equipment, finance, and management, contractual and external factors. The project stakeholders were engaged to have an overview of their perception regarding the delay.

5.2 summary of key findings and conclusions

The survey discovered that the water project was delayed by a period of 4.4 months on average. The fifty eight causes of project delay used to assess the project were divided into 8 categories. However the study revealed that of the 8 groups of delays, only two groups contributed to the delay. These are the material related and external factor related cause. The latter examined the regulatory changes, laws-regulations, building permit approval, natural disasters and adverse weather conditions. The following is the list of items that marred the project though; laws-regulations, building permits approval and late material supply.

The respondents pointed out that the major delay was because the project was developed and initiated at central government level by then ministry of natural resources and water development currently called ministry of water and sanitation. As such the other implementing teams were only told what has already been discussed elsewhere. This obscured the local level support to protect the project from being delayed as they had little knowledge during initial implementation. Most documents relating to the project were also released when the conservationists expressed concern about the project procedure used.

5.2.1 Influence of the laws-regulations factor

According to literature review and the interviews conducted, the research identified that it is not recommended for such a project to be implemented inside a national park. The hill contain a number of biodiversity as evidenced by 60% of the respondents who attributed the laws-regulations being the main cause. This compelled conservationists to obtain injunctions against the project by referring to the UNESCO guidelines that prohibit excavation projects inside the protected places.

5.2.2 Influence of the building permits approval

According to the research findings, the project was initiated at central government level by the ministry of water and sanitation. Fund for the project was also a development loan from KUWAIT fund. As such the project was being implemented based on the benefits of the project. This compelled the implementing team to disregard the procedures for conducting such project. For example, the contractor was allowed to be at a site before the ESIA report was made public and allow public discussion on the matter. The scenario made conservationists to obtain an injunction since they felt disregard to follow procedures was detrimental for environment as well as the community.

5.2.3 Influence of late material supply

From the research interviews, late materials supply was regarded as factor leading to project delay. It was specifically a delay in releasing the ESIA report and negligence to timely address the raised concern by conservationists that is being referred by interviewees as material supply. It was discovered that if the issues raised by external parties were addressed timely, it could not have reached the extent of obtaining court orders to stop the project.

From the findings of the research it is concluded that the project delayed due to failure in adherence to environmental guidelines. It is therefore important that both water supply project client and contractors should adhere to requirements of constructing a project in restricted areas. The decisions to construct mega projects should also engage other stakeholders to enable the society have the same view as the implementing agents. Generally, the government could have also avoided the fracas by doing a literature review of the project area before commencing the project. This could have allowed to validate the options and probably incorporate relevant approaches as expected by concerned parties.

5.3 General recommendations to the parties involved in the project

In view of the findings of the study, subsequent recommendations can be proposed to address delays in water supply construction projects.

5.3.1 Recommendation to the owner as well as Southern Region Water Board

In this regard project owners are the settlers of surrounding areas and Mangochi district residents in general. Basically these people need to be given attention of their needs and their values. However it is good to note that what works elsewhere may not tally in another community. As such it is a good practice to avoid assuming that people may not retaliate. The people may receive the project but as time passes become irritated by the changes being brought the project. This may bring agitation.

5.3.2 Recommendation to the contractor

Avoid following the centralized decision making and procedures. This hinders progress and may cause delay.

Administration and technical staff should be assigned as soon as possible after project has been awarded to organize achievement of project completion within specified time, required quality and estimated cost.

5.3.3 Recommendation to the consultant

The project was mostly delayed due to the untimely submission of relevant documents for scrutiny before commencing the project. As such, the consultant should ensure that checking, reviewing and design approval is submitted before construction phase. Flexibility should as well be there to evaluate the comments and suggestions by public as well as contractor’s work. Whatever the situation, compromising and negligence should be avoided by adhering to environment and engineering standards.

5.3.4 Recommendation for further studies

Good mitigation practice should be used to alleviate the occurrence of further delay. Furthermore, the organization should as well avoid shortcuts by delegating duties to other authorities as this can avoid delays in approval of documents. There is a need to come up with a number of studies on construction delay of water supply projects so that guidelines can be developed. This can also help identify methods to minimize effects of water supply construction delays in Malawi. The similar research can as well be replicated in other water boards in Malawi. To have reliable data to warrant responsive guidelines, it is required to conduct specific studies on treatment plant construction projects, dam construction projects, utilities, pipe laying projects, water and sanitation projects or all other projects being conducted by water supplying companies in Malawi. A study on the evaluation of involvement and impacts of specific party in construction of water projects should as well be conducted. Lastly, there is a need to investigate the economic effects of financing a delayed project.

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Questionnaire –Kassan Kaselema, MSw student. DMISEU

This questionnaire is set to gather information regarding the evaluation of factors causing delays for the implementation on Nkhudzi water project in Mangochi district. The project is about extension of water supply system from Mangochi town to Nkhudzi Hill of Mwanyama village in Traditional Authority Nankumba. The water project was delayed during its implementation phase and the research is being conducted to evaluate the factors behind the delay.

This questionnaire is required to be filled with utmost exact relevant facts where possible. All data included in this questionnaire will be used only for academic research and will be strictly confidential. After all questionnaires are collected and analyzed, interested participants of this study will be given feedback on the overall research results. Please respond to each question by adding a tick in the appropriate response or filling in the relevant information.

SECTION A: Background and Knowledge of Respondents on the water supply extension project

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

2. What is your position in the organization?...
3. What is the length of your experience in water supply construction projects?.
4. Were you involved in the Nkhudzi water supply extension project?...
5. How long was the project been delayed?

SECTION B: – Causes of extension construction delay

Please tick the causes of the delay on the implementation of the project conducted in Mangochi districct. Using the following scale: 1 very low; 2 Low; 3 Average; 4 High and 5 very high.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Excerpt out of 56 pages


Factors causing Delays of Implementation of Nkhuzi Water Project with Particular Reference to Mangochi District
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
BSc in environmental science and technology(Physics). Malawi school certificate of education
factors, delays, implementation, nkhuzi, water, project, particular, reference, mangochi, district
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Kassan Kaselema (Author), 2023, Factors causing Delays of Implementation of Nkhuzi Water Project with Particular Reference to Mangochi District, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1336392


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