Transformative Journey Unveils Brighter Future for Lake Chilwa Basin Communities.

Transformative Journey Unveils Brighter Future for Lake Chilwa Basin Communities.

As he continues his transformative exploration of CARD’s work across the country, Our Executive Director, Melton Luhanga, conducted field visits on January 22nd and 23rd, 2024, in Zomba and Machinga districts. He visited Group Village Headman Bimbi in Traditional Authority Kuntumanji, Zomba district and Group Village Headman Mitawa in Traditional Authority Chamba, Machinga district.

The purpose of these visits was to gain a firsthand understanding and appreciation for the remarkable progress achieved through the "Community Led Planning and Management for Biodiversity Protection and Resilient Communities in the Catchment Area of Lake Chirwa" project.

With funding from Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA), Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and Trocaire Malawi, the project extends across three districts surrounding the Lake Chilwa Basin. The initiative aims to foster the development of environmentally and economically sustainable, resilient communities by focusing on the restoration, sustainable management and protection of the biodiversity in the catchment area of the Basin. 

The journey was marked by moments of joy as communities are actively engaged in interventions to restore nature, including the heartwarming sight of tree planting initiatives.

The project is focusing on several interventions, including Goat Pass-On program, beekeeping, value addition that compliments the natural environment, agro-ecology, establishment of water points through borehole drilling, afforestation and re-afforestation. This transformative initiative has reached out to over 24 Village Natural Resources Management Committee (VNRMC)`s across the three districts with each VNRMC receiving 40 beehives and 25 goats and each individual getting 5 pass-on goats.

Additionally, the project has raised over 240,000 tree seedlings with each VNRMC raising over 10 thousand tree seeds. And the project participants have been provided with tree nursery establishment materials such as, Wheelbarrows, Shovels, Polyethylene tubes and tree seeds for Tangatanga, Acacia, Grilicidia Sepium, Tephrozia Vogelli, and M’bawa. These interventions are strategically designed to empower communities by fostering the adoption of responsible resource management practices, thereby enhancing community resilience to climate shocks.

During the tour, we had the privilege of meeting individuals like Matias Silika, a father of seven and recipient of the Goat Pass-On initiative. Silika expressed his gratitude, highlighting the project's positive impact on food security in his home. Silika highlighted that, the Goat Pass-On initiative has alleviated concerns about fertilizer costs by empowering him to turn goat dung into valuable manure, creating a sustainable source of input manure for his crops. 

"With the increase in fertilizer prices, I am better off as my farming now relies on the manure, ensuring a bountiful harvest. I am really grateful to CARD for the goats and Mbeya manure making training; may God bless CARD," exclaimed Silika, capturing the essence of the transformative change underway.

This endeavor is not merely a project; it's a beacon of hope, resilience and sustainable development for the communities surrounding Lake Chilwa Basin. Together, we are shaping a brighter, greener future for generations to come.

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