New Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has expressed “deepest gratitude” to President Peter Mutharika for appointing him, saying his overriding responsibility shall be to actualize the President’s resolve that no Malawian dies due to hunger by ensuring that there is adequate food security at household and national levels.
In his maiden speech in Senior Chief Kachindamoto’s area, Dedza, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, where President Mutharika officially commissioned the Bwanje Irrigation Dam, Nankhumwa said agriculture is the mainstay of Malawi’s economy, making it one of the most key and strategic ministries.
Nankhumwa said to be appointed to head such a key and strategic ministry is no mean recognition by the President.
“Our culture encourages us to say ‘thank you’ when someone has done you a favour; Your Excellency, I thank you most sincerely for this appointment and I wish to assure you that I will serve Your Excellency and the people of Malawi with utmost loyalty and dedication,” said the youthful minister, who also serves as Leader of Government Business in Parliament.
And in a show of rare statesmanship and above board politics, Nankhumwa congratulated his predecessor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamveka “for the good work he did at the ministry, steering it in the right direction”.
“I wished my predecessor was here so that he personally received my sincere congratulations for the commendable work when he was Minister of Agriculture. I am optimistic, Your Excellency, that Honourable (Joseph) Mwanamveka will also perform exceptionally well at his new ministry (Finance and Economic Development). I wish him well in his new role,” said Nankhumwa, who is also the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for Southern Region.
Mwanamveka competed against Nankhumwa for the coveted VP (South) position during the party’s national elective conference last year, where the latter won with a wide margin.
Nankhumwa’s ‘nice words’ for Mwanamveka, therefore, may be viewed as political maturity and positive leadership trait that politicians across the political divide ought to be emulating in order to mould Malawi into a progressive nation that Malawians want it to be.
In his official commissioning speech, President Mutharika said Bwanje Irrigation Dam shall have enormous social and economic benefits for the people of Dedza and the entire nation, explaining that the dam will promote irrigation farming and improve food security as farmers will increase crop production.
“Additionally, we intend to use the dam for power generation as well as provision of potable drinking water for surrounding communities,” said the President, urging surrounding communities to look after the dam well by avoiding cutting down trees in order to protect the Bwanje Dam’s catchment, among other measures.
The President said irrigation development is a critical pillar for social and economic development and an important tool to dealing with poverty.
MP for Dedza East, Patrick Bandawe, Senior Chief Kachindamoto and Bwanje Irrigation Scheme Water Users Association President Timothy Kaupembe thanked government for the dam, describing it as a “wonderful gift” for the people of Dedza, which will significantly improve their livelihood.
Bwanje Irrigation Dam is 40 metres high and 150 metres long. It has a storage capacity of 500 million cubic litres.
The European Union (EU) has invested 30 million Euros for the construction of Bwanje Irrigation Dam, which will supply water to an existing 800-hectare irrigation scheme, established in 1999 with financial and technical assistance from the Japanese Government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :