The Malawi Government has disclosed that it has taken a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing sustainable land management and watershed services, the Technical Team Leader of the Malawi Watershed Services Improvement Project (MWASIP), James Kumwenda, has disclosed.
Kumwenda said the government is working hard to restore degraded landscapes and to improve the country’s water security and agricultural productivity livelihood by 2030.
Kumwenda made the sentiments on the sidelines of a media interface meeting in Blantyre, which among others, was organized to equip journalists with skills on the effective models of disseminating information related to the project.
The project is supporting the implementation of the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy (NFLRS), which, among others, estimated that nearly 7.7 million hectares of degraded land requires restoration intervention.
“This project incentivizes the GoM to stay focused on reversing land degradation as one of the NFLRS targets is to restore 4.5 million hectares of degraded landscape by 2030,” he said.
MWASIP project consists of two key components, which include the improvement of the country’s watershed services and scaling up landscape restoration in priority river basins of the Shire, Linthipe, Bua, Dwangwa and North Rukuru Rivers.
“The upper and middle parts of the Shire River Basin alone provide the opportunity to restore more than 2.6 million hectares of degraded landscape. This value represents more than half (57 percent) of the NFLRS target. The Shire River Basin is, therefore, a priority watershed for achieving GoM’s strategic goals as laid out in the NFLRS and will, therefore, require continuing restoration intervention beyond this project,” he explained.
Kumwenda added that Linthipe, Bua and Dwangwa River Basins are equally critical in ensuring adequate water supply for domestic and industrial uses in Lilongwe and other fast-growing towns and rural growth centers in the Central Region while the North Rukuru and Lufilya River Basins, in the Northern Region, are also crucial because of the current and future mining activities in the area.
The project is estimated to cost a total of US$160 million of which US$78.5 million will be a credit from the International Development Agency (IDA) while another US$78.5 million will be an IDA grant of equivalent and government is to pump in US$3 million, according to the project documents.