Nsanje Stakeholders Demand SVTP Extension

Once completed, the Programme is expected to increase productivity and commercialization for targeted households in the Shire Valley, among other objectives Once completed, the Programme is expected to increase productivity and commercialization for targeted households in the Shire Valley, among other objectives - pic by Alfred Guta

Some council members in Nsanje district including legislator for South West Constituency, Eurita Ntiza Valeta, are pushing for extension of Shire Valley Transformation Program (SVTP) beyond Bangula.

“We are concerned that the program will end at Bangula. Three constituencies in Nsanje will not benefit. I feel these constituencies have been sidelined. It’s a project that is supposed to benefit everyone,” lamented Ntiza.

She raised the concern in Chikwawa on Sunday after the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance appreciated works done so far under the program.

Reacting to the fear, Principal Secretary Responsible for Irrigation under the Ministry of Agriculture, Engineer Geoffrey Mamba, told the legislators, that “it’s a gravity fed irrigation system covering a distance of about 118 kilometers.

“We are taking 50 cubic meters per second from Shire River to irrigate 43,370 hectares.”

According to Engineer Mamba, “upon reaching Bangula, the water energy will diminish to almost zero as we get to Bangula. Unless we have enough water, unless we have pumps to push the water to areas that are beyond Bangula.”

He was quick to say that within the irrigation master plan and investment framework, there are other schemes that are coming on board citing Chididi area “where we are going to develop about 800 hectares.”

The multibillion Program is being financed by the World Bank, African Development Bank, Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and also the Malawi Government with the first phase pegged at 234 million USD, according to Engineer Mamba.

Once completed, it is expected to increase productivity and commercialization for targeted households in the Shire Valley, among other objectives.

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