15 August 2020
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Sunday, 31 May 2020 04:52

TA blames govt over project imposition

Written by  Aliko Munde
Gopani- says technicians and other stake holders should work togather Gopani- says technicians and other stake holders should work togather

Mzimba, May 31, 2020:Traditional Authority (TA) Mabilabo of Mzimba District has blamed government for imposing a project on people saying the tendency might lead to the project’s failure as communities do not own it.

The TA made the remarks at a Full Council meeting following Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development’s introduction of Programme for Rural Irrigation Development (Pride) at three irrigation schemes in his area.

“The exercise is good but top bottom approach projects are not sustainable as communities do not own such projects. As a result they shun project activities and sustainability is compromised.

“Briefing would have started at village level than starting with district executive committee (DEC) and full council. People out there are wondering as to what is happening as they just see vehicles going to these sites," TA Mabilabo said.

M'mbelwa District Irrigation Officer George Gopani said DEC and Full Council were briefed first for them to be on the same page with the project implementers before getting down to communities.

He said district technicians, traditional leaders and ward councillors are a team which will conduct joint sensitisation meetings at community level.

"We started with technical arm which is DEC and then political arm of the council, which is Full Council so that all of us; traditional leaders, ward councillors and council secretariat should be on the same page when we are going to brief communities," Gopani explained.

Member of Parliament for Mzimba South West Chatima Nkhata urged implementers to stick to what was presented for the program to help beneficiaries.

"The detailed feasibility study and the entire project sounds technically good but when it comes to implementation sometimes it becomes the opposite," said Nkhata.

The irrigation schemes that Pride project targets in TA Mabilabo are Lupenga, Perete Phiri and Bwanamudoko with 313, 564 and 784 hectares each.

The 2016-2023 Pride project is being funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) and Malawi Government.

M’mbelwa district council has since accepted the project