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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 05:29

Authority threatens to curtail K800 million irrigation project in Karonga

Written by  Andrew Mkonda
Greenbelt Authority Public Relations Officer (PRO), Maganizo Mazeze Greenbelt Authority Public Relations Officer (PRO), Maganizo Mazeze

Karonga, February 26, 2019: Greenbelt Authority has threatened to relocate K800 million Illora-Nthola-Ngosi irrigation scheme project in Karonga, to undisclosed place, amid community denial to offer land for implementation.

Greenbelt Authority Public Relations Officer (PRO), Maganizo Mazeze told the media in Karonga Friday, that the project has support in the district, but some villages fail to understand the its concept.

His remarks came after people of Yafeti Mwakasungula and Ngosi villages, refused to be part of Nthora-Illora-Ngosi Irrigation scheme project fearing of being robbed of their land.

Mazeze said the Greenbelt Authority agreed with Traditional leaders that the project would not move anyone and that it would provide a certificate of ownership to each one with land within the scheme.

“It is unfortunate that meetings we have been conducting here have not yielded any positive results. If these people won’t change their minds then we will be looking for another piece of land,” he warned.

The PRO described the situation unfortunate as the project aimed to change people's status and empower them economically.

“If they don’t change their minds now it will be too late for them to be part of the project if we decide to go to another area,” Mazeze said.

Paramount Chief Kyungu said there is need for Greenbelt Authority to intensify civic education in village headman Mwakasungula and Ngosi on the importance of the irrigation scheme before deciding moving to another area.

“I believe once this project is implemented in the district, it will change the status of many people economically.

“It will also bring employment to a number of people in rice milling factory that the Authority is intending to plant in the district.

So I see no any reason why people should be refusing this project. Let them just be civic educated,” he said. 

Greenbelt Authority unveiled the construction of a 1,000 hectares Nthora-Illora-Ngosi Irrigation scheme project in April, 2018 to the tune of K800 million which the Authority says will boost the production of rice in the country.

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