Participants under the Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Program (CS-EPWP) in Dedza district have hailed the programme, saying is it transforming their farming methods and, at the same time, improving on retaining soil as well as forests.
The revelations were made on Monday when Dedza District Council organised a media tour to some catchment areas in the district where the programme is being implemented.
Speaking in an interview, Monica Mtambalika of Chimombo Village under Traditional Authority Kachere said before the interventions like construction of swales and the tree regeneration, they experienced heavy flow of water from the hills which resulted in sweeping their crops as well as houses.
She however said the development has stopped all that and they are not facing any hiccups.
“The rainwaters from the hills are getting into the swales, which also assist in conserving soil thereby bailing us out during hot weathers,” she said.
Another participant, Gift James from Chaphuka Village in the same area but working on gulleries, said they are working to block running water so that there is siltation thereby reducing the impact and size.
“You may see that this gullery here has gone wider because there were no controlling measures. But what we are doing under the CS-EPWP is that we are using stones to block the running water. This in the long run will help through siltation and the size may reduce or the whole gullery will be covered up,” he indicated.
On his part, Kosmas Ganizani, from Chioza Kalichero under Senior Chief Kalichero, said as a participant, he welcomed the development, adding apart from getting some money which goes towards assisting his household, the programme has direct long term benefits.
“We are into tree regeneration and construction of swales and I can comfortably say that there are no running waters here and our Kadedwa Hill has worn a new face because we are actively taking part in ensuring that the natural regeneration activities are done in a rightful manner,” emphasised Ganizani.
In Dedza, over 13,000 participants are benefiting from the programme’s phase one, and the number is expected to be increased to over 18,000.
CS-EPWP in the country is being implemented by the National Local Governance Finance Committee (NLGFC) through district councils with support from the Malawi Social Protection Multi Donor Trust funded by World Bank, USAID, Iceland, Ireland, UK-FCDO, EU and Norway.