Malawi: Floods Damage Irrigation Schemes in Machinga

Machinga — Recent floods that hit some parts of the country have damaged five irrigation schemes in Machinga District, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has established.

Some of the schemes damaged include Naming'azi, Mikoko and Nkhande in Paramount Chief Kawinga and Kamwaza Irrigation Scheme in Traditional Authority Ngokwe in the district.

A report from Machinga District Irrigation Office compiled on March 16, 2019 shows that culverts, canals and scoured earth dams have been destroyed at Kamwaza Irrigation Scheme which has 130 hectares of land.

The report also indicates that head works which control water flow and a dyke that prevents excessive water from entering Mikoko Irrigation Scheme have been damaged by the floods.

The report further says floods have also blocked the river span in Nkhande and also damaged dykes which were constructed to increase water intake.

The irrigation schemes are in danger as the damage would make them not to have water at all, according to the report.

"There is need of speed maintenance works as people from these areas earn a living on irrigation farming.

"The project will need hiring a contractor to work on the heavily damaged areas as there will be need of importing huge volumes of soil from elsewhere since the surroundings have been eroded," the report recommends.

Machinga District has five irrigation schemes which include Mikoko covering 56 ha, Naming'azi 43 ha, Nkhande 68 ha, Kamwaza 130 ha and Zumulu 110 ha.

According to an assessment report by the district civil protection committee, 163 families are still in evacuation camps such as schools, churches and other public facilities after the floods rendered them homeless.

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