Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) has constructed a K30 million water point for livestock in Rumphi.
The project has come as a reprieve to animals which used to cover over 10 kilometres in search of drinking water, a trek worsened by drought and other effects of climate change.
Speaking during a handover ceremony at Bolero, Luanar vice-chancellor Professor George Kanyama-Phiri said there is need to safeguard livestock from harsh impacts of climate change which has led to the drying up of rivers in the area.
He said: “We constructed the water point because farmers in Bolero have over 1 000 cattle.
“We wanted to reduce that distance to get water. As we are supplying water for the livestock, humans should also benefit through water taps installed for household use.”
Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining chief director Bright Kumwembe said the water point will help improve livestock farming in the area.
“We expect the animals to improve in terms of numbers and productivity,” he said.
The public university is running various livestock research in the Capacity Building for Managing Climate Change in Agriculture project bankrolled by the Norwegian Government to the tune of $8.5 million. Livestock committee chairperson Alick Msowoya said rivers often dry every summer and animals produce less meat, milk and manure as they walk long distances in search of water.