Blantyre — Climate Change Adaptation for Rural Livelihood and Agriculture (CARLA) project is currently implementing a comprehensive climate change resilience project among communities of Traditional Authority (T/A) Chapananga in Chikwawa district.
The project consists of various initiatives such as solar powered irrigation farming, fish farming, woodlots establishment, poultry and goat farming.
CARLA project Manager, Charles Mwalabu said the project is expected to be replicated to other districts where effects of climate change are rampant.
"This is a pilot project which is being implemented in the three districts of Chikwawa, Dedza and Karonga and we are likely to expand to other districts if the post assessment indicates success," explained Mwalabu.
Mwalabu expressed confidence on the likelihood of the project extension based on the positive results evident in the areas where CARLA project is being implemented.
"Where CARLA interventions have been implemented, agricultural produce has significantly improved and issues of hunger have been lessened despite the poor rainfall patterns that have been experienced recently. This to us is enough evidence of its success," added Mwalabu.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda indicated that the adoption of new strategies in order to beat the effects of climate change is the way to go.
Chaponda acknowledged that government is aware of the climate change and there is need to change in ways of doing things.
"Especially this time when we are experiencing food deficit, it is important that new strategies are pursued and government is committed to supporting such initiatives," explained Chaponda.
Referring the woodlot being grown under the same CARLA project at Senior Group Timbenao in the area of Traditional Authority Chapananga, the minister married the initiative to the government's mission of encouraging Malawians to grow trees for various purposes.
Chaponda also explained that in these issues of climate change, his Ministry is working together with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining as the issues cut across both Ministries domain.
The minister also hinted that these resilience building initiatives which are income generating to some extent are going to usher vulnerable Malawians out of the poverty which continues to affect a large proportion of the population.
A good example is that of goat farming which puts a smallholder farmer at a better position to afford things which normally would appear out of reach in the absence of livestock.
Violet Mailosi a goat farmer from Dausi village in the same project concurs with Chaponda on the financial benefits of goat farming which she is practicing courtesy of CARLA project.
According to Mailosi, despite the poor rains experienced this year, she and her family are secure from food shortage due to the proceeds she makes from the sales of the goats that enable her purchase food for the family.
"Every time there is food shortage in my household, I sell a goat to buy food stuffs, in so doing the goats are securing us from the negative impact of climate change.
"I also pay school fees for my child who is in form three and I want to ensure the sustainability of these goats as they assure me of a better future," explained Mailosi.
The project which is being implemented to achieve climate change resilient communities has been running since 2012 and has benefited 30 thousand farmers from Chikwawa, Dedza and Karonga. The project is expected to conclude this coming June and upon its success which is likely to extends to Salima, Zomba and Nsanje.