Churches Action in Relief and Development (Card) with funding from Scottish Government has pumped about K85 million into a climate justice project in Nsanje to improve community resilience to climatic hazards through increased water supply and food security.
Under the project, Card is constructing two solar-powered irrigation schemes in areas of Traditional Authorities Mbenje and Chimombo. People will be able to use the water for domestic and irrigation purposes.
Card Project Officer based in Nsanje, Charles Msowoya said the project will not only improve the water supply for households, but also increase their food security through crop diversification aided by solar irrigation systems.
“Nsanje is a disaster prone district and there is need to improve community resilience to such shocks. By building climate resilience among the poor households, the project will contribute towards eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,” he said.
Senior Group Village Head (SGHV) Nsamba under T/A Chimombo, whose jurisdiction spans over nine villages said people in his area walk for as long as five kilometres to draw water.
He was hoverer optimistic that once the system becomes operational in April, his people will breathe a new lease of life.
“The land is mostly dry here, and rain-fed agriculture has proved to be a failure. What we need is irrigation, and Card has brought us that. We will be able to drink from the system and irrigate our crops. The les time spent on drawing water means more time spent on development,” he said.
Takondwa Irrigation Scheme under GVH Melo in T/A Mbeje has cost K40 million while Makoka Irrigation Scheme under SGVH Nsamba is pegged at K45million. All schemes are expected to be operational by April 1 2016.