The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Resources is responsible for water resources management in Malawi. The mandate of the Ministry is to ascertain a sustainable provision of water supply and sanitation services and implementation of irrigation development programmes in order to contribute to socio-economic growth in Malawi.



The sector's vision "Water and Sanitation for All, Always" endeavours to ensure that every Malawian has equitable access to safe water and sanitation services for sustainable economic development and enhancement of the natural ecosystems.



The mission of the Ministry of irrigation and Water Development is to manage and develop water resources for sustainable, effective and efficient provision of potable water, sanitation and irrigation systems in support of Malawi's economic growth and development agenda.

Institutional Arrangements

Under the Ministry are two key institutions, the Department of Water Resources, and the National Water Resources Authority (NWRA), established under the 2013 Water Resources Act.



Strategic Objectives for the Ministry of Irrigation and

Water Development


  • Increase agriculture production and enhance food security through irrigation
  • Achieve sustainable and integrated water resources development, conservation and management that makes water access and use equitable to all individuals and entrepreneurs
  • Ensure the existence of strategic and contingency water resources development and management plans that guarantee availability of water in cases of droughts, floods and population pressures
  • Ensure that all persons have convenient access to sufficient quantities of water of acceptable quality and the associated water-related public health and sanitation services at any time and within convenient distance
  • Promote the empowerment of user communities to own, manage and invest in water resources development
  • Promote public and private sector participation in water resources management, development, supply, and conservation
  • Participate in the enactment and implementation of local, regional and international obligations and agreements with regard to exploitation and management of water resources
  • Facilitate and initiate scientific investigations and research in the occurrence, development, utilization of water resources and disposal of wastewater in order to use the information for sustainable exploitation of water resources
  • Promote and advocate water sanitation services, pricing and charging systems that recognize water as both a social and economic good in order to institute cost recovery principles
  • Facilitate development and regular review of policies and regulations that promote water resources development, conservation, management, protection and utilization.