People from Senior Chief Kalembo in Balaka can now heave a sigh of relief following the commissioning of a K26 million Kakhobwe Irrigation Scheme, thanks to World Food Programme (WFP) through Find Your Feet (FYF).
Kalembo is one of the places in Balaka with the highest number of people affected by hunger due to its geographical position that is prone to floods and dry spells.
Speaking when he commissioned the irrigation scheme on Monday, Balaka district commissioner Emmanuel Bambe said their priority was irrigation farming.
He said: “We are not pleased to have Balaka on the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee [Mvac] report every year as a district in need of relief food.
“Last year, we were number two at national level and number one in the Eastern Region in terms of food shortage.”
Bambe said with irrigation, people will be food-secure as they will grow crops throughout the year.
“The irrigation scheme is solar powered. Let community members around the scheme take care of the facility,” he said.
FYF executive director Chimwemwe Soko said depending on rain-fed agriculture will not help in this time of climate change.
He said: “We have trained the community around the scheme on how to manage the facility.
“We want to see people improving their lives by building better houses, having food and money through the sale of their produce.”