Malawi: Irrigation Farmers Worried Over Dry River in Dowa

7 August 2019

Farmers in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chakhaza in Dowa district have expressed concern over lack of reliable water supply for irrigation farming.

Some of the affected farmers busy in their tomato field.-Photo by Tiyanjane Mambucha, Mana

The farmers who belong to Malipa irrigation scheme said the river they rely for water supply does not run throughout the year.

Chairperson for the Scheme, Kondwani Bintoni said they fail to use five hectares of land at the scheme during the dry season due to water scarcity.

"World Vision Malawi (WVM) helped us with the solar powered irrigation system in the year 2017. Since then, Malipa scheme farmers were economically empowered and were able to produce enough food to meet their children's nutrition needs.

"We have realized that irrigation has multiple benefits however, with the water supply challenge we fear some of our dreams will not be achieved," he said.

Another farmer, George Mzomela expressed worry on the same saying as a physically challenged person the solar irrigation system made work easy.

"With this system I stopped using water cans and my work was made easy. I am afraid, if this problem continues we will end up going back to the old way of using water cans which is a challenge for me," he observed.

Assistant Irrigation officer for Dowa, Esnath Makoka acknowledged that her office is aware of the problem and promised to intervene.

She recommended that WVM should drill a borehole closer to the river to help pump more water for the scheme as they are waiting for a lasting solution.

Malipa Irrigation scheme started in 2016 and has 23 member farmers with 12 females.

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