Machinga Reaps Fruits of Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Programme

Chikala hill being under restoration Chikala hill being under restoration - pic by Eamon Piringu

Beneficiaries of the World Bank funded Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Programme in Machinga have commended the programme for improving soil fertility in the district and promoting self-reliance among them.

One of the beneficiaries, Mwai Kazembe who is also the chairperson for Nkakamila Village Development Committee (VDC) under Senior Chief Chamba in the district, says since the inception of the programme, people of the area have not been experiencing flooding which has also seen a significant improvement in soil fertility.

Kazembe says in the programme they have been encouraged to use swales, stone bands and tree planting to regain the lost fertility.

“We have benefited a lot through the programme as our land is no longer eroding and we have not been experiencing flooding of our rivers too,” said a smiling Kazembe.

The area of Traditional Authority Mposa in Machinga is another, whose people are enjoying the fruits of the programme. Communities in the area are restoring the heavily depleted Chikala hills through several technologies.

Paul Steve who chairs the area’s Catchment Management Committee says people of the area are more committed to take part in the programme after realizing the importance of the programme.

He says they have set by-laws to punish those found tampering with the environment, giving an example of a K5 000.00 fine which perpetrators are told to pay.

Hanna John of Mphonde village under traditional authority Mposa, says using the benefits she has been receiving in the programme since last year, she has managed to start livestock farming which she hopes will sustain survival of her family.

John however has asked the government to adjust upwards their monthly benefits in the programme which is currently at K28 000.00.

“I think if government can revise the perks we receive it can be a good move as Machinga district council spokesperson Martin Chiwanda says they have not recorded any challenges in the programme that is currently in the second phase and reaching out to over 18 000 beneficiaries.

"As Machinga district council we are very satisfied with what is happening on the ground in terms of the climate smart enhanced public works programme. We have managed to rectify the challenges that were seen in the first phase and we hope for more improvement in the third phase,” said Chiwanda.

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