Communities in Chikwawa have hailed Climate Smart-Enhanced Public Works Programme (CS-EPWP) for its role in conserving the environment, mitigating the effects of climate change, and improving their economic well-being.
One of the participants of the program, Maria Supada told Malawi News Agency (Mana) Saturday that she was planning to invest her money into a small-scale business as soon as she receives her wages at the end of the first cycle which is currently underway.
“Apart from the money, I was motivated to participate in this program because my family has been affected by floods and heavy winds several times, some months ago my brother’s house was also reduced to ruins by floods and heavy winds, this would have been avoided if we had planted more trees around our compound,” she said.
Supada added that the rains washed away her vegetable garden when she was about to start harvesting.
“It was painful to realize that all my hard work was in vain, I do not want to go through that experience ever again so I will implement what we are doing in this project in my garden to harvest more and safeguard my crops from possible floods,” she said.
Chikwawa District Council Senior Land Conservation Resources Officer, Ackim Dickson said the program was very important to the district which was prone to disasters almost on a yearly basis because it is promoting various interventions which would address threats brought about by climate change or any natural disasters.
He added that the interventions, which include, soil and water conservation, rainwater harvesting, soil fertility improvement, afforestation, and promotion of natural regeneration, would help to restore degraded catchments and increase crop productivity.
Dickson added that “The program will build the capacity of participants, increase their resilience to climate change shocks, and improve eco-system services including food security, poverty reduction, and economic growth.
“It should be noted that implementation of the interventions is a direct contribution to government policies and Malawi 2063, which emphasizes on the need to have an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation,” he said.
The initiative is being implemented through CS-EPWP which is part of the World Bank-funded Social Support for Resilient Livelihoods Project (SSRLP).