Malawi Parliament passes bill for drought recovery grant

Parliament on Monday passed a bill authorising government to obtain a grant of US$ 104 million (about K74.05 billion) for the Malawi Drought Recovery and Resilient Project.

Goodall Gondwe re-introduced the bill
Goodall Gondwe re-introduced the bill

The bill authorises government to enter into agreement with the International Development Association of the World Bank for a multi-billion grant geared towards enhancing resilient systems in Malawi.

However two weeks ago, the house rejected the bill at committee stage due to what it described as a lack of specific information about which districts were to benefit from grant.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe re-introduced the bill into the house having revised it as requested by the house.

“As you recall, this bill was rejected because it did not have some information specifically on which districts were going to benefit from the grant.

“We have provided such information and we have circulated an amended agreement and we feel the bill is now complete for debate,” he said before re-introducing the bill to the house.

The opposition bench responded to the revised bill before it was passed.

Speaking on behalf of Malawi Congress Party, Member of Parliament for Dowa West Kusamba Dzonzi said the party fully supports the bill and commended government for addressing the issues raised by the house on the previous bill.

“Our party already made its position on this bill and we are very grateful to the minister of finance for clarifying on the areas that the MCP wanted clarification on,” He said.

Spokesperson for People’s Party (PP) in the house, Ralph Jooma, Mangochi-Monkey-Bay, said the bill is a good one as it intends to promote recovery and resilience of communities affected by drought.

He said that the bill lacks clarity on the people and focus.

“Mr. Speaker sir, the bill is not focusing on specific areas, it is too general. It is like a multi-purpose resource which is spread too thinly on too many areas,” Jooma said.

But Gondwe stated that it was impossible to bring specific information on which areas or villages are to benefit from the resources under this grant and that all the districts that were previously excluded have been included in the revised bill.

The grant seeks to enhance the installation of small scale solar-powered irrigation and medium scale solar pumps, construction and drilling of boreholes and provision farm-inputs for drought recovery and resilience among other things.

Through this grant for the Malawi Drought Recovery and Resilient Project, the country is expected to meet its food security needs and prepare itself for future weather and climate related problems, according to Gondwe.

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