World Bank, AfDB to fund Shire River irrigation scheme

World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have together pumped in US$210 million to fund the largest irrigation scheme in southern Africa, the Shire River Irrigation scheme.

Chaponda: To launch irrigation scheme

Chaponda: To launch irrigation scheme

Ministry of Agriculture community development specialist Stanley Khaira said the feasibility study of the project is expected to finish in December and the whole project will take off in 2018.

“This will be the first and biggest irrigation scheme in southern Africa,” said Khaira.

The irrigation scheme comes at a time when Malawi is facing perennial food shortages due to El Nino powered drought in the southern region of Malawi where the scheme is.

President Peter Mutharika on Thursday said Agriculture minister George Chaponda would be unveiling the multibillion kwacha irrigation scheme soon.

Khaira said the scheme is expected to benefit over 100, 000 households from Chikhwawa and Nsanje after the 146 kilometre canal is finished.

He said parliament is expected to approve the project in June this year.

Khaila said approximately the first phase of the project will cost 340 million United States (US) Dollars and shall cover 21,000 hectares of land.

He said: “Of the said amount, 260 million US dollars has already been pledged and the project is receiving overwhelming support from both in and outside Malawi.

“It is expected that the whole project both phase one and two will cost 600,000 million US dollars but the actual figure will be known when the feasibility study is completed.”

Khaila further said World Bank has pledged to support the project with 160 million US dollars, while African Development Bank (AFDB) will bankroll over 40 million US dollars.

“Malawi government has already paid 70 thousand Euros in preparation for the project and by December 2016 the feasibility study will be completed.

“This is a gravity fed irrigation project and the water will be channeled from Kapichira dam here in Chikwawa district,” he added.

He said the whole project will take up 42.5 hectares of land and urged people of Nsanje and Chikwawa not to sell off their land as the government want to utilize it for irrigation.

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Mdzidzi Umalonga

As far as I know, this could be a third feasibility study done on the Shire Valley Irrigation Programme, but construction works never took off. I hope we will get something done this time. But expect no vote from my village in 2019 if the 2018 timeline is not adhered to.

Major phaivadandlada

If this is true eeeee! guys you are really serious of developing the Malawi Nation.A Malawi need people who can transform the nation and not going around this time busy doing kampeni.Dikiraninso 2019 tizakuvoterani popeza maprophet atiuza kuti hhhhhhhh!ndiye bola omwewanso.


Launch, launch, launch , launch etc etc. Stupid government. When will you do it?


Mr. Chiputula, please write in English next time you want comment.

A Malawi!! A Malawi!! A Malawi!! Why do you reporters and your Masters are fond of feeding the Nation with unconfirmed news? If this happens we shall have this! You can’t learn from the previous misfired projects. Whoever is giving out these stories to these journalists must stop this tendency. Much as this “project” is vital to the Nation it must have been kept as a “confidential” matter never to have been put public. These are not political issues where a certain ruling party, as we call them, to gain a mile stone. Governmental issues and Political matters should be… Read more »

I think it is typing error on 42.6 hectares. it is more than 100 000 hectares. The other good news is that the area in question has rich alluvial soils that make it good for any crop including Maize, Solghum, Rice and Sweet Potatoes. It is also important that government Trains more field officers to lead this project. It must not be a failed project like Bwanje Irrigation scheme.

Kanonono Siyalimba

Nyasa Times, is this the only photo of Chaponda in your files? He looks like a corpse in the coffin in this photo. You should consider changing it please. He is your leader and so he deserves respect.

Winston Msowoya
I strongly support the Shire River development project that if completed,would be a catalyst for agricultural economic development.Furthermore,this would stand as the most economic challenge to the most hated OIL RIGGING iN LAKE NYASA/ L.MALAWI.So,Muthalika and his selvires,must halt thinking of destroying and contaminating our most maginificent Lake God has created for Malawians on one hand and the rest of mankind on the other.Economically,Muthalika must have a vision that would resonate to the entire population of our people who have shown dislike for the project and its aftermath.I think Malawians would find that the Shire River Project would turn into… Read more »

42 hectares and spend K600bn?

The Real Analyst

Spending $210 million to irrigate only 42.6 hectares? Thebwriter doesn’t understand what he/she is writing about and has no capacity to question such obviously illogical information if this figure indeed came from Government. Malawi is full of incompetent people whether in the media, public sector or private sector. No wonder it’s the world’s poorest country!

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