The Mpatamanga Project will need to comply with Malawi’s laws, regulations and
policies including those relating to:

Land; Environment; Water Resources; Biodiversity; and

Cultural Heritage; and Gender.

As a Public-Private Partnership (PPP)[BC1]  Project, the Mpatamanga Project will also need to comply with international standards, including:

  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards (PS) (2012).
  • World Bank (WB) Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) (2016).
  • United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011).
  • In early 2023, the following four environmental and social (E&S) studies commenced: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) Development.
  • Resettlement and Livelihood Restoration Action Plan (RLRAP) Development.
  • Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Development.

Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) spanning the Shire River Basin (broader than Project area).

Updates on their progress is being shared regularly; in monthly meetings with communities
in proximity to the main dam area; in quarterly meetings with a broader set of stakeholders including government agencies and civil society organisations (CSOs); and in regular update meetings with other affected stakeholders. Study progress is also summarised in the Project’s quarterly newsletters.

As various international lenders will be mobilised to support financing of the Mpatamanga Project, the
studies are being led by international environmental and social (E&S) consultancies that are very experienced with these lender E&S requirements. Malawian E&S consulting firms are also involved.

The E&S studies that are now underway are building on data previously collected and the
findings of earlier studies. Summary versions of study ToRs are available here
[BC2]  and on Ministry of Energy website. 

In addition to these E&S studies that have been contracted by and are being managed by MHPL, the Ministry of Energy (MoE) Project Implementation Unit (PIU) has also commissioned and will manage studies related to labour influx management and cultural heritage impact assessment. The findings of these studies will be integrated into the Mpatamanga Project ESIA, RLRAP, and relevant ESMPs.

The ESIA and supporting documentation will be lodged to the Malawi Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) in order to secure an environmental permit for the Project. The E&S Studies will also be used by MHPL and the GoM to secure international financing for the Mpatamanga Project.