Annie-Marie Trevelyan visited Malawi last week
* Project empowering communities to rehabilitate land that was once deforested into a productive farm land
* The interventions that have contributed to improved living standards of the programme beneficiaries
By Mary Makhiringa, MANA
United Kingdom Minister of Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Annie-Marie Trevelyan has expressed satisfaction in the way people in Balaka are implementing adaptation and resilience projects which the UK Government is supporting.
Trevelyan, who was on a visit to Malawi, made the remarks in Balaka when he visited the Nthochi Irrigation Scheme and land resource area in Chimdikiti area in Traditional Authority Kalembo’s area where the World Food Program (WFP) through Find Your Feet is implementing a climate change related project.
Trevelyn said she was pleased with the water shade programme implemented in Balaka and equally appreciated the interventions that have contributed to improved living standards of the programme beneficiaries.
“We have seen an extraordinary garden of Eden where farmers are able to have a second crop in form of vegetables both good to improve the nutrition of their families.
“This has been an exciting visit for me seeing where UK investments are going in this spectacular project where land resource activities have been up scaled.
“I am really proud to see what the UK Government through the Prosper Programme has done to this country,” she said while appreciating how people use their land and adapted to effects of climate change.
WFP Country Director and Representative, Paul Turnbull said it was pleasing that the Prosper Project empowered communities to rehabilitate land that was once deforested into a productive farm land.
“The project has benefited the community economically as they are able to grow crops throughout the year and in addition it has benefited their families to have a variety of food, there by enriching their nutrition status,” he said.
Turnbull added that there was need for the interventions to roll out to other areas to allow people to benefit from irrigation and other land resource activities.
Balaka District Commissioner (DC), MacCloud Kadammanja hailed the UK Government for the funding the Prosper Programme in the district, saying there were telling positive coming from project in which people “are able to grow various crops all year round and lives have been improved”.
One of the beneficiaries of various interventions from the Prosper Programme, Harry Mashon from Chidikiti Village said the district used to “experience floods every year and hunger as well as malnutrition but with the coming of the soil conservation where deep trenches as well as swales were constructed, this is all history”.
Mashon added that the programme introduced backyard gardens where various vegetables for home consumption are grown for nutrition and food security apart from big water tanks that were provided to facilitate irrigation farming on a large scale.
The UK Government supports Malawi in implementing effective adaptation and resilience strategies through better natural resources management, sustainable livelihoods and disaster risk management and increasing private sector investment in renewable energy.