About 400 farmers are expected to benefit from Chimwala Irrigation Scheme currently under construction in Senior Chief Malemia in Nsanje District.
Speaking after inspecting the construction of the water intake, Shire Valley Irrigation Services Division chief irrigation officer Oswald Mvula said the scheme will improve food security in the district.
He said “The district is prone to natural disasters such as droughts and floods which affect crop production.
“That is why we are rehabilitating the scheme to enable farmers to grow crops using irrigation.”
Mvula said they are reviving other schemes which are not functioning such as Mtolongo in Senior Chief Tengani in the district.
“Another way to make the project sustainable is by drilling two boreholes in each scheme to ensure continuous water supply,” he said.
Malemia Area Development Committee chairperson Mathias Chilumba thanked Nsanje District Department of Irrigation for the intervention.
“We urge people to take advantage of the scheme to grow crops to beat hunger,” he said.
Chilumba encouraged farmers to grow some cash crops, including vegetables to earn extra income.
In his remarks, Nsanje district commissioner Medson Matchaya urged the community to take ownership of the project.
He said “Doing maintenance works, protecting the dam and planting trees around the intake is our duty and responsibility and not donors. Let us join hands to protect the scheme for our benefit.”
Chimwala Irrigation Scheme is part of a resilient project under the Post-Cyclone Idai Emergency Recovery Project being implemented in eight districts, including Nsanje, with funding from the World Bank to the tune of K344 million.