ASUD Executive Director Thomas Ngwira was speaking at Bale in Rumphi district when he inspected interventions being carried out to conserve the catchment areas of South Rukulu.
ASUD Executive Director Thomas Ngwira said the project is among others helping to reduce siltation in Lake Malawi which harbors aquatic life and is a source of electricity generation in the country.
“It is very important to conserve the river sources and catchment areas to control siltation that goes to Lake Malawi and eventually disturb biodiversity and affect electricity generation resulting in blackouts.
“This is why we embarked on the project of protecting the catchment areas of South Rukulu River through planting vegetative cover and encouraging conservation agriculture among farmer at Bale area,” the ASUD Executive Director added.
During the visit, Ngwira also distributed farm inputs and equipment for winter cropping among five groups that participated in the project.
“We have donated these irrigation materials to five groups to ensure members engage into winter cropping to supplement on the food they harvested during the rainy season. This will assist them to have food security at household levels,” explained Ngwira, calling on people to remain united and work hard in their fields to eradicate hunger.
One of the Irrigation officers in the district Kenani Mshali commended ASUD for donating farm inputs and irrigation equipment to the community.
“As an agriculture sector, we are very thankful to what ASUD has done. They have reached out to people with inputs and equipment for irrigation. This will help farmers to grow maize twice or thrice a year thereby ensuring food security and income,” said Mshali.
Mshali added that his office’s role was to offer technical advice to ensure those farmers start to stand on their own without relying on ASUD.
Commenting on the issue, Village Headman Yalero and Mwankhunikira ADC Chairperson Harvey Chihana advised the beneficiary of the items to use the materials for its intended purpose.
The two local leaders warned the group members against selling the donated items saying it is meant to benefit them.The items that were donated include fertilizer, maize seeds, treadle pumps and wheelbarrows.
Action for Sustainable Development-ASUD embarked on the soil and water conservation project at Bale in Rumphi district last October with funding from Global Environment Facility through the United Nations Development Programme- UNDP.
Through the soil and water conservation project, ASUD in partnership with the Bale community is encouraging the planting of trees and vertiva grass to control runoff.