Government says it is committed to achieve improved land and water resources management and associated environmental services under the 15-year Shire River Basin Management Programme.
The programme is set to develop Shire River basin as one of the country’s major resources.
Director for water resources in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Resources, Modester Kanjaye, said this in Blantyre yesterday at the on-going four-day conference to be officially opened on Thursday by Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Resources Allan Chiyembekeza.
She said government realises that Shire River has potential to positively contribute to the development of the country.
Said Kanjaye: “We have about 11 departments that have been channelled to work with the programme to ensure that we achieve our goal of retaining Shire River to its natural course.”
She said the project is currently upgrading Kamuzu Barrage at Liwonde, which will involve rehabilitation of the existing barrage by installing computerised equipment around the infrastructure, which is its major project in the phase.
In his remarks, World Bank water resources practice manager Jonathan Kamkwalala said Shire River has the potential to provide enough water for power generation and address issues of climate change if well taken care of, but there is need for coordination to achieve this.
The conference, being held under the theme ‘Towards a Shared Vision for the Shire Basin’, will tackle several issues and update stakeholders on projects being implemented.