Mangochi Catholic Diocese Bishop Montfort Stima has hailed the multi-million kwacha Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-M) funded environmental management project in the district, saying it will mitigate the negative impact of climate change.
Speaking on Saturday when the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) briefed him on the activities under the MCA-M project, the bishop described the grant as timely.
He observed that environmental problems which manifest through sedimentation and severe erosion in Shire River Basin and its catchment area is a phenomenon which affects the performance of electricity generation.
“You will agree with me that unsustainable agricultural practices and land management activities are some of the factors that are resulting in Malawi, currently grappling with intermittent power supply.
“Economically, this is the critical time when we need energy for our economy to thrive to run the industries when there are overt signs of donor fatigue, national budget implemented with no or minimal external financial support due to the infamous Cashgate among other reasons,” said Stima.
The bishop lamented that most Malawian farmers, whose livelihoods depend on natural resources and eco-systematic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry, have no alternative financial activities and resources to adapt to climate change.
Stima also appealed to beneficiary communities in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Chowe to own and sustainably utilise the environment, noting ultimately the initiative benefits a larger community and making the earth a better place to live in.
CCJP Mangochi diocesan secretary Bruno Banda said the commission received K190 million alongside other non-governmental organisations to implement an environmental and natural resources management, social and gender enhancement project.
He said CCJP has already trained communities in joint family budgeting, lobbied with men and local leaders to involve women in decision-making processes, besides establishing village natural resource management committees.