T/A Mlolo helps to keep alive Chakuamba’s community rice scheme legacy 

Nsanje East Bank Traditional Authority (T/A) Mlolo is helping keep the legacy that late politician and former Member of Parliament for Nsanje North, Gwanda Chakuamba initiated way back in 1964 — the Muona Community Rice Scheme agricultural project.

T/A Mlolo inspects the rice paddy
T/A Mlolo Inspecting the water source that irrigates the rice scheme

According to T/A Mlolo, late Chakumba, who was laid to rest at his magnificent mansion that has now been turned into a tourist hospitality — the Chinyanje Lodge — initiated this community project when he was then Minister of Agriculture after he liaised with T/A Mlolo 1 to move his Chiefs and subjects to the upper land and use the land for that purposes.

“The Government, through the Chinese people, were the ones helping the community how to manage it,” said T/A Mlolo when she inspected the scheme on Sunday.

The community manages the  scheme through Water Users Association (WUA) Committee and its Board of Trustees with the help of Ministry of Agriculture’s experts (alangizi a ulimi).

“Muona Scheme has 446 hectares and if well managed can produce about 3000 metric tonnes of rice,” she told Nyasa Times.

However, T/A Mlolo said they do not have a ready and secured market yet for their produce, which is worrying farmers as they will be harvesting in two weeks time.

“We are hoping that the government will make an initiative for our produce to be bought through cooperatives. This initiative will help as the rice will be bought at a higher price.

“Muona Rice Scheme, among other schemes in Nsanje, produces high quality rice that can attract foreign markets. This scheme was given to the community to manage it and so the 446 hectares is shared amongst the community.

“The community benefits from the scheme a lot in  that from the proceeds as they are able to provide school fees for their children, they are able to build houses and some have managed to buy livestock.

“From the proceeds of their rice harvests, the farmers are able to buy maize when the maize fields have not done well. The scheme has 5,000 farmers of which 3,500 are men and 2,000 are women,” said Mlolo, whose name is Ellena Rachael Chakuamba Chimbamba.

Since she was elevated exactly three years in April 2016, she has nurtured a deep passion for community development by initiating several projects in her area.

During her tenure of office, T/A Mlolo has managed to initiate five projects which she would love to have some of them completed in the next two to three years, subject to the availability of resources through sponsorship from government and well-wishing donors.

Her first project was establishment of a Community Training School in order to keep youths in the area from indulging themselves into life threatening activities such as excessive drinking and smoking because they were idle.

After been concerned with the girls’ high school dropout rate due to early pregnancies and early marriages among other reasons, and knowing that gender-based violence and abuse mostly affects the girls more than boys, she maintained the trained and existing structures, Mother Groups and Male Champions that were used by Save the Children to engage with the girls and the boys in rehabilitating programmes.

She is also passionate to have justice to prevail by initiating and engaging with the Judiciary to have a Magistrate Court built in her area.

“The Judiciary agreed to our request and promised to include it in the 2019/2020 budget subject to my finding a land for Judiciary to lease, which we have already secured waiting for the Judiciary to do its part in the upcoming financial year.

On that same land, she intends to build a police station. Currently the law enforcers in her area are operating from a two-roomed bulding offered by Well Trinity Hospital with one room being used as a holding cell for men and the other as the administrative office.

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Eduardo, Provincia de Niassa
Eduardo, Provincia de Niassa
3 years ago

Chief Mlolo is pretty iiih

Chiswa B
Chiswa B
3 years ago


Sir Mbewe
Sir Mbewe
3 years ago

Looks like this Chief is consolidating power and has given herself the role of a Councillor and MP. Tiziona kuti zithabwanji but her strategy is commendable

Wina Mpoto
3 years ago

We need chief like these in Malawi and not others who the only thing the know is Politic Amagwetu Ndale sitidya

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
3 years ago
Reply to  Wina Mpoto

Very agreeable. This is the first time to hear of a T/A who is development conscious in an area like farming to end poverty and hunger. She is a role model. She is able to meet some of the target set by UN, in as far as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are concerned. But my advice to the T/A is that she should not use corrupt third parties to find a market for the produce. She seek advice from Mr. Kumbemba at Malawi Investment Trade Centre on how best to get the market for the rice so that it… Read more »

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