Communities in Phalombe have said Climate-Smart Enhanced Public Works Programme will help lessen the impact of disasters in the district.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, village head Ganeti from Traditional Authority Kaduya said Phalombe, being a flood-prone district, needs such interventions to reduce the impact of disasters.
She said the programme has seen community members mount a stone bund along the slopes of Mwananyani Hill to halt run-off water.
People construct a stone bund along Mwananyani Hill slopes in Phalombe
“The stone bund protects crop fields and settlement downhill from being washed away by floods. I am pleased that this year, our crops will survive and our homes will be destroyed,” she said.
Arnold Majawa, a community member from Jadeni Village, said besides stone bunds, they also planted vetiver grass in their field to control run-off water.
“Maize crop is doing better in our fields this year as the interventions have redirected run-off water from the fields,” he said.
Migowi Catchment Management Committee chairperson Janet Chitseko said they also planted trees in the hill to replenish its vegetative cover.
“If you look at the hill, you will see that it is covered by trees. We have planted some trees and with the help from traditional leaders we have preserved indigenous ones through the by-laws we formulated,” she said.
Phalombe district acting land resource conservation officer Aaron M’mwala said at least 19 000 households are participating in the programme.
He said: “During the pilot phase in 2023 we planted trees in many places and they are doing fine. In some villages, people established woodlots.
“As a council, we are pleased with the programme’s impact.”
Climate-Smart Enhanced Public Works Programme is funded by the Social Protection Multi-Donor Trust Fund and the World Bank.