After successfully reclaiming the encroached Mudi dam catchment area, Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has promised to revive the dam by planting sisal and 50000 trees on the 890 hectors catchment area.
BWB’s Director of technical services Mabvuto Chiipanthenga made the pledge on Friday during a consultative meeting with chiefs and councilors surrounding the area at the board’s headquarters.
He disclosed that the invasion greatly affected BWB’s operations, saying it dwindled production capacity from 45000 Cubic litres of water per day to 6000 cubic litres per day.
“We have invested up to K40 million and we are optimistic that by the end of three years the area will turn into a forest as it was before and water levels for the dam which has been reduced to below half due to siltation will rise to the expected levels and water production capacity will improve,” he said.
Chairperson for Ndirande Mudi conservation management authority, Sylvester Mitini-Nkhoma, hailed the consultative approach the board has engaged.
“We will continue to take these people on board, to explain to them the importance of conserving this area especially the chiefs and councilors who we all know are the custodians in the communities,” said Mitini-Nkhoma.
Group village Headman Matope expressed gratitude after learning that some members of the communities will be hired in the tree planting exercise, set to roll out this January.
This year alone BWB, has spent about K67 million (about $109,216) in compensating the 2000 encroachers.
Mudi dam was commissioned in 1955 but gazetted as a protected area in 2008.