APM orders Malawi water boards to venture into large scale irrigation

President Peter Mutharika has directed all water boards in the country to venture into large scale irrigation programmes to avert persistent food shortages in the country blamed on El Nino weather phenomenon.

Mutharika: Clean and portable water is a must for every citizen

Mutharika: Clean and portable water is a must for every citizen

President Mutharika commissioned the Salima Lake Shore Water Supply project

President Mutharika commissioned the Salima Lake Shore Water Supply project

Mutharika said this on Friday when he officially commissioned a K6.4 billion World Bank funded Salima Water Supply Scheme.

“We have water that is supplied in our homes, we have water that irrigates our gardens… but we don’t have water that irrigates our crops, what is the problem? Provide water to our farmers, I want you to supply to farmers wherever you can. I must receive your plans by mid June,” Mutharika said.

The President this week declared Malawi a state of national disaster following persistent acute food shortages because of El Nino powered heavy rains in the north and El nino powered drought in the south leaving the central region. To feed a population of close to 20 million people.

“We have a lot of water but what we need is skills and resources,” he said.

Mutharika said if the water boards initiated irrigation system takes off, Malawi would be food secure in two to three years time.

He said Agriculture is now the priority of all priority areas of his government nd irrigation is the main focus.

“If we do this, we will be back on track in two to three years, there will be no food shortages. We will do that,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika thanked the US government for the US$50 million food aid pledge, saying this is a third of what Malawi needs in this food shortage period.

Malawi is expected to have 2.4 million metric tonnes of maize this year out of the need three million metric tonnes needed, putting over three million people in dire need of the staple food.

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39 thoughts on “APM orders Malawi water boards to venture into large scale irrigation”

  1. Ambuje Kukaya says:

    Irrigation is not mandate for water boards. Look into their strategic plans, and there is nothing on irrigation. The State President and the Minister are really ignorant of their own institutions

  2. kulyolyopera says:

    this is crazy the boards are failing to give enough drinking water
    supplies how can they will be able to produce more water for irrigation and what are the duties of the irrigation department

  3. j maona says:

    ulimi wotaya madzi… kikiki

  4. HPB says:

    Putting in place irrigation schemes has been talked about for years and years and yet nothing is done up to this day.

    Malawi has rivers that have water throughout the year and of course a fresh water lake. None of then have been harnessed for irrigation by small holder farmers.

    Some dams were built during Dr Banda’s days, but that was long time ago. Since then, nothing has been done. Dams have potential not only to provide drinking water but also irrigation schemes.

    While it is true that Water Boards would be part of the planning for putting in place irrigation infrastructure, any such scheme would need to be inter-agency and inter-ministerial as well as inter-displinary in nature. It would involve collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Natural Resources, environment and Water; geology department; Ministry of Lands , Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Economic Planning. It is inconceivable that Water Boards alone would produce required planning for irrigation schemes let alone implementing them. The June deadline set for Water Boards to deliver such plans is not well-thought out.

  5. Bima Matheza says:

    Maprofessor enawa. i can bliv this, just like mhango

  6. Chikutumbwe says:

    Where is the Green belt program Mr President?

  7. manyi says:

    Mtima siuvala Sanza. Failing to fulfill drinking water obligations and you want to add this? Mukunamiza ndani? Pathetic policies.

  8. councillor says:

    they are failing to do their core activity and u want to add another task to them. You are confused, professor

  9. andy 1 says:

    zoona abwana zichitike zimenezo,enanu you alws find faults in wat munthu says y?Felix jumbe uli bho I saw u in a blue cape!!!!!!!!!wabwera kumablues !!!!!!

  10. Joe says:

    A wise idea but should be entrusted to the relevant authorities .

  11. vavlov says:

    This president is very erratic in his directives. So now water boards will also dealing with agriculture, and yet he has a ministry responsible for irrigation and water development. This is a vote of no confidence on Chaponda. Malawi has an irrigation master plan, does the president know about this? This is sad, how can the country develop with such erratic one-man policies?

  12. mpopoma says:

    The president is unwise . Why water boards when water development ministry is combined by agriculture. I remember in dwangwa was a hard working and forecast person by the name of Aaron kisebe who brought pivots for irrigating canes . Jealousy people started sabotaging the project but he finished. He was jealously removed and pivots can’t function. Take people like kisebe ‘ s who are not politically motivated to do serious projects in agriculture. Otherwise hunger every time.

  13. simon says:

    Apm please nchonde tilipa mavuto Central region water board sakaulipira ma creditors, afuna katundu alandiria ulere, please there is need to discipline them. they are the worst paying organisation in Malawi.

  14. chiswe says:

    APM has got it right. Engineers in Water BOARDS are just sleeping instead of they themselves being creative. Does it have to be the President to give them such a noble idea to implement? In fact the idea could have started with Engineering students at the Poly but instead you involve yourselves in unnecessary strikes. Zitsiru

    1. Maji Ghane says:

      Keep it up Kawiluwilu engineers in Mzuzu. You are doing a great job.

  15. Zilibwino says:

    Ndasiya ku Chimwakhunda kulibe madzi. Ndiye mukuti athilire . What is this now? Educate me. I am puzzled. If it was Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development, then I would not be in the situation I am. Educate me please. Akweni go on the radio and tell as more please! Too much for Water Boards.

  16. Ze Roberto says:

    It may be a good idea but my question is, is Water Board the right department? As we speak, water boards in Malawi struggle to provide water for domestic use. Do they have the capacity to shoulder the added responsibility of supplying water for irrigation purposes? I strongly doubt.

  17. Chimzinga says:

    Koma Ya! Pavutatu apa. Where is the department of irrigation. Misdirected orders? Water boards are already complaining that water in cities like Lilongwe will be rationed due poor rains that have left its water reservoirs with less than needed. Now they need to start looking for land and start undertaking agricultural duties. Where is the irrigation equipment for extensive irrigation? Passing on headache to juniors who have no capacity to bear it. Which way? Liime chotere!! Koka. Zili kumalawi.

  18. Kwa Pastor Kuyama nako mukaike madzi a water board chifukwa mkuluyu wayamba ndale za mmudzi mwake ataona kuti wathandiza APM kwambiri moti madzulo ano Friday mkuluyu akukaveka ufumu mchemwali wake mwakabisira ku Chimvano mu ufumu wa a Timvere mosagwirizana ndi a Timvere eni ake ufumuwo.

  19. Timveres says:

    Even pastor F. Kuyama (SDA PRESIDENT) who is travelling tonight (Friday) to handpick her sister as village head woman in his home village Chimvano against the wishes of Timvere clan rightful owners of the village head has no irrigation scheme. Not even steady running piped water at all.

  20. Kulankhula kwa mtsogoleri wa nzeru ndi wamasomphenya lets together support our President for this big initiative to transform Malawi from a beggar to a food basket country.

  21. alex says:

    A friend ineed

  22. Mzozodo says:

    Way to go APM

  23. Mphepo zinai says:

    Za ujeni basi. Water boards are struggling to supply towns and cities. Were will they get power to pump water for irrigation???

  24. chete says:

    WHAT MUTHARIKA HAS DONE IS COMMENDABLE. MR PRESIDENT, IN AS FAR AS CIVIL SERVICE IS CONCERNED, THINGS WILL NEVER WORK IF THE PRESIDENT LEAVES THINGS TO TECHNOCRATS BECASUE PEOPLE GET FRUSTRATED IN THE PROCESS. THE WAY TO GO IS TO ISSUE DIRECTIVES FO THESE GOVT OFFICIALS.

    WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS TO INVITE THINK TANKS, SUCH AS THOMAS MUNTHALI, HENRY KACHAJE, MICHAEL USI, PROF BEN KALUA, CHIKAONDA, EDWARD CHILIMA, THOM MPINGANJIRA AND LET THEM DISCUSS HOW MALAWI CAN MOVE FROM POVERTY TO PROSPERITY. THEN START PRIORITIZING THESE ISSUES. BORROW MONEY FROM DONORS WHERE HUGE CAPITAL IS REQUIRED AND GET STARTED.

    ISSUE DIRECTIVES ASAFUNE ASIYE NTCHITO. THEN MALAWI WILL MOVE FORWARD.

    I REST MY CASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. MBUMBA says:

    Dear CHAPONDA
    PLEASE PUSH THESE LAZY
    BASTARDS CALLING THEMSELVES ENGINEERS IN YOUR MINISTRY PLAYING BAWO IN OFFICES.

    They just want to be called
    Bosses without going out to the
    Fields.

    THIS BOSS BOSS IN OFFICES SPIRIT
    BRINGS HUNGER IN THE
    COUNT

  26. achimwene says:

    What is required is private sector to be enticed into irrigation. Our water boards currently have no capacity to deliver water to its client base. By asking the same water boards to divert their expertise and resources to irrigation, they will end up not satisfying their core business nor the irrigation proposal.

    Let the private sector, not smallholders nor waterboards, be at the fore front of food production in Malawi

  27. The Analyst says:

    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O
    For the first time since he became president, APM has spoken as a president, and I quote . . .
    ” . . . Provide water to our farmers . . . I must receive your plans by mid June.” – (Third Paragraph)
    Sadly, not all statements that sound presidential, are sensible or reasonable.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    The professor seems lost beyond redemption . . .
    . . . Who should initiate large-scale irrigation farming in Malawi between the govt (through Ministry of Agriculture) and the Water Boards?
    . . . Is our first problem with irrigation – lack of water or equipment and technical know-how?
    . . . Isn’t APM’s assumption that lack of large-scale irigation in Malawi is a result of problem of water supply for the farmers, a misplaced assumption and careless misrepresentation of facts and thus, not true?
    . . .Isn’t his demand for plans to be presented to him by mid June misdirected?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    . . . What kind of plan should the water boards provide to APM? About how the Boards will aquire irrigation equipment e.g. treddle pumps? Or how they plan to dig irrigation drainages?
    Truth No 1. . . .
    . . . Almost all farms in Malawi have some water provided by the Boards or otherwise. The problem is lack of equipment or structures or technical-know-how; for taking this water to the crops. And all this, has nothing, whatsoever, to do with the Water Boards.
    Truth no. 2 . . .
    . . . The govt has miserably failed to plan or provide the aforementioned (necessary) structures or infrastructure or embark on initiatives for kick-starting the large-scale irrigation projects in Malawi; and thus has no one to blame but themselves.
    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O

  28. Tadala says:

    The water boards are failing to supply enough water for the populace yet you suggest they should go for irrigation business. Why not involve large scale commercial farmers, organizations or ADMARC to go for that. The problem is these initiatives have always been politicized hence not attractive to potential Individuals and organizations that can effectively run irrigation farming.

  29. dzambo says:

    This could be a good move! However, the commercial nature of water supply from the Boards may create bottlenecks to the whole process. Farmers cannot afford to pay for water bills at the current going rate. I, therefore, urge government to find the best sustainable way of funding such plans and creating an environment and the right systems for the smooth running of such projects.

    As a nation, we have a lot of money that can be used to fund such projects. It doesn’t necessarily have to come from donors. If we can close some of the leakages in budget management, cut some of the excessive ministerial/presidential/legislative privileges, we should be able to have enough to fund and sustain these projects. Given three years of sacrifice on the part of the government machinery and everyone, we can turn this nation into a real food basket and in the process enhance our export base.

    Water Boards! Please act on APM’s directive and help change our situation. You have the chance now.
    APM: don’t just torment us with mere political rhetoric. Act when these boards submit their plans pls!

  30. Mwanangwa says:

    Misplaced direction. What is the ministry of agriculture going to do? What the link of the agriculture ministry and the water and energy streamlined like? May be he says before he consults – cause the water boards have failed to deliver and he adds more responsibilities to the

  31. limbani mzembe says:

    Thats the way to go Mr president

  32. James says:

    And yet you introduce vat on irrigation pipes!!! Saying 1 thing and doing something else smh

  33. mbuzi says:

    Uku ndiye kufuntha. These leaders have made Malawians to be lazy and end up cursing God. Very clueless

  34. woganiza says:

    Tikamati mutharika ndi mbuzi ya pulezidenti, a Kaliati mkumati mfwe mfwe mfwe. How Can Water Boards provide Water for irrigation or get into irrigation schemes? Is it in their mandate? What is the Ministry/Dept for irrigation doing?

    In any case, the Water Boards are not able to supply enough water in the cities, would it not be overstretching them to get into irrigation?

    A pulezidenti, muziganiza ndi mutu osati pakamwa.

  35. Kenkkk says:

    Yes we want irrigation but are water boards the way to go with? How is this going to happen? Actually it is apm govt who should come up with the plan how water boards can be involved in irrigation, not the other way round.

    The govt must come with the logistics here how drinking water supplies by water boards can be used to irrigate crops as well. Do we have an oversupply of drinking water by water boards?

    It is not as easy as apm seems to put it. We need irrigation systems not linked to drinking water supply. The sugar Estates such as nchalo or dwangwa already involved in Agric irrigation should be the ones tasked to spread irrigation.

    Alternatively in addition to the already existing irrigation schemes we have in malawi which need to be expanded, new irrigation alternatives should be explored throughout the country. We have many rivers. New dams specifically for irrigation should be constructed throughout the country.

  36. thom says:

    Boma mu dziwe Central region water board amatanga katunda pama suppliers ndi samalipira ndalama mpakana ma chaka ambiri, afunika new blood kumeko,

  37. MO says:

    Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk whaaaaat? These guys are failing to gave us panopa no water in my area and H.E. Zoona directing these guys to start irrigation?Mr Bwana do u know how much it feels to stay a week without tap water and receive a huge bill by the end of the month? Thet are failures izo mwangolankhula bwana zatulukila nkhutu linalo

  38. pido says:

    This is Misala at its best. Kodi kusowa zolankhula bwanji? Tell this to Official in the Ministry of Agriculture and not Water Boards. They supply water without limits. What should they do beyond this? Abale Mbuzi iyi yonjez

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