World Bank has committed to support the Shire Valley Irrigation Scheme mega project whose implementation is also being supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
According to Director of Irrigation Services, Geoffrey Mamba, says the World Bank has provided US$6 million while the AfDB has contributed US$1.8 million towards various studies and other preparatory work of the project expected to cost US$640 million covering 42,000 hectares of land between Nsanje and Chikwawa districts.
Once implemented, the project will assist farmers in upper parts of Shire valley to practice irrigation farming consequently improving food security and economic status of rural masses.
Officials are currently carrying out a feasibility study with a hope to start the project in 2017.
But there have been some concerns from environmentalists that passing a canal through Majete game reserve will negatively affect natural resources including animals.
Project Technical team coordinator Rodrick Champiti insists that it is only a portion of two kilometers that will pass Majete thereby calling on people not to worry much.
Country Director of African Parks Patricio Ndadzera said that they will continue to support the project as long as there are mitigative measures appreciating already existing conservation projects.
Said Ndadzera: “People need also to remember that a lot was invested in Majete and that the game reserve is assisting in generating money for the country.”
Recently paramount Chief Lundu, Senior Chief Ngabu, T/A Maseya and others called on authorities to speed up the implementation of the project in order to promote food security at household level.