Dedza, President Arthur Peter Mutharika has said his government will serve all Malawians in the country equally without discrimination.
Mutharika was speaking Tuesday at Msekeni Primary School Ground when he officially commissioned Bwanje irrigation Dam in the area of Chief Kachindamoto in Dedza.
He called on all Malawians to support his government to foster national development.
The president reiterated his commitment to developing the country not withstanding the fact that some areas did not vote for him during the May 21 presidential elections.
Although some areas did not give me votes, I will bring development equally to all districts in the country from Nsanje to Chitipa and Nkhotakota to Mchinji so there is development in all the districts,Mutharika said.
Turning to Bwanje irrigation dam project the president said in the first phase, the dam will provide water to irrigate 800 hactares and the second phase will provide water for 1,500 hactares benefiting more rice farmers in Bwanje irrigation scheme which the Japanese government is supporting.
Mutharika also thanked the European Union (EU) for the support in the construction of the dam saying his government is very serious on food security through irrigation.
I want Malawi to be a hunger free nation as this is the vision of the DPP government, he said, warning people from wanton cutting down of trees and seting fire to forests inorder to preserve the catchment area of the dam.
Mutharika also said the phase two of the project will see the dam supplying piped water to the surrounding community hence improving lives through irrigation activity and supply of potable water.
In her remarks European Eunion (EU) Team Leader for Infrastructure Social Sector in Malawi, Ms Virginie Laffauer said her organisation would continue supporting the government.
She said they have pumped in 69 million Euros to support the agricultural sector in the establishment of irrigation schemes, construction of dams of which about 11 million Euros were for the construction of Bwanje Dam.
Laffauer added EU wants to improve the livelihoods of rural communities to sustain viable social economic development through irrigation, water resource and construction of dams in order to reach 9,000 hactares and atotal of 42,000 farmers in the country.
Senior Chief Kachindamoto thanked government for the project saying the commissioning of the dam will improve irrigation activities where rice farmers will be able to havest twice in a year.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa said the construction of Bwanje Irrigation Dam was started in 2017 inline with the National Irrigation Policy of 2016 and a National Master Plan and Invesyment 2015 to 2035.
Nakhumwa said at present about 100,000 hactares are under active irrigation adding that the National master plan wants to achieve 400,000 hactares by 2035 in order to improve agricultural productivity in the country.
He also thanked the EU for the support of constriuction of Bwanje Irrigation Dam which is 40.1 metres deep and has a capacity of 5.6 million cubic metres of water providing water to 800 hactares for about 2,000 farmers in Bwanje Rice Irrigation Scheme according to records.
Source: MANA Online