Bwanje Dam project phase 1 completion satisfactory, Mwanamvekha

Lilongwe, Government has expressed satisfaction with the completion of the first phase of construction works for a multipurpose Bwanje Dam in Dedza.

Minister of Agriculture Irrigation and water Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha made the remarks when he visited the site this week following the completion of the construction works in the first phase of the project.

I am quite satisfied with the dam, it has been properly constructed. They are telling us that this is a very strong dam, it can take us up to 50 years.

As I speak now, they have been testing the dam to check if there are any defects, so far so good, we do not have any defects, Mwanamvekha said.

The minister said the dam will promote irrigation farming and improve food security as it will help farmers increase crop production.

The construction of this dam will have huge impact in terms of production of various crops down the stream.

Our farmers will be kept productive throughout the year and will continuously produce their crops like rice, maize and others, once they do that, they will be producing more for them to sell to the market, he added.

In his remarks, District Commissioner for Dedza, Paul Kalilombe said measures have been put in place to make sure that the catchment area is protected from human activities.

The longevity of this dam depends on how we are going to manage it. As a district council, we are aware that the mountain and the dam are being degraded, so we hope to initiate programs to sensitize the community on how to manage the environment.

We have in our plan programs to enhance regeneration of trees that have been removed. Government has also assisted us, we have a camp by Malawi Defense Force staff which is assisting in protecting the trees, Kalilombe said.

President for Water Users Association for Bwanje Irrigation Scheme, Timothy Kaupembe expressed gratitude for what he described as a transformative project.

This dam is very significant to the people of Bwanje, specifically to us farmers, it will help to increase crop production because now we will not only depend on rain-fed agriculture but also on irrigation farming, explained Kaupembe.

The construction works for Bwanje Dam was officially launched by President Arthur Peter Mutharika in May, 2017.

The dam is 40 metres high and approximately 150 metres long with storage capacity of over 500 million cubic litres.

The dam is meant to serve three main purposes of domestic water supply, irrigation of 800 hectares of land at Bwanje Irrigation Scheme and other surrounding areas, and generation of hydro power.

Source: MANA Online