Communities in Traditional Authority (T/A) Dambe in Neno District have expressed excitement with plans to construct Tsenjerani Irrigation Scheme, saying it will improve their livelihoods.
The scheme, under the Malawi Watershed Services Improvement Project (Mwasip), will cover 15 hectares.
Speaking on Friday during the handover of the contract to a contractor, group village head (GVH) Tsenjerani said her subjects were ready to work on the scheme.
“The irrigation scheme will enable communities to scale up crop production as the scheme has more land, which will lead to food security and more income,” she said.
A community member, James Phombeya from the area commended the district council for the project, saying irrigation farming will save people from hunger.
“We have perennial rivers, yet we fail to utilise them due to lack of materials to pump water upland,” he said.
Neno district director of planning and development Charles Lomoni said the irrigation scheme will improve people’s livelihoods.
“People living along Mfundazi River will benefit from the project as they will grow crops more than once a year,” he said.
Lomoni said besides empowering farmers, the scheme will also employ some people as casual labourers.
“However, I caution communities against vandalising and stealing construction materials,” he said.
Neno district irrigation officer Austin Ndengu said a weir will be constructed which will have a main pipeline, including secondary canals and hydrants where farmers will pump water for irrigation.
Neno Mwasip district project coordinator Vincent Sambuka said the project falls under Mwasip component of infrastructure development.
The contractor’s representative Garikayi Chidziya assured the communities that they will complete the construction works within the specified timeframe.