Neno Communities Hail Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Programe

Ntengula Committee working around the affected area Ntengula Committee working around the affected area - pic by Steve Kalungwe

Communities in Neno district have touted the Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Programme as a success, saying it is helping to reclaim degraded lands and improve the environment.

The programme, on Wednesday and Thursday, took Neno media team on a tour to appreciate some of the works beneficiaries are doing in the areas of Senior Chiefs Symon and Mlauli and Traditional Authority Chekucheku.

Speaking to Zodiak Online, Nkhombe catchment area chairperson John Banda says through the programme they have constructed swales and stone bands and engaged in gulley management to reclaim degraded lands and increase food production.

He said that "among other things, the program has enabled our community to construct Swales, infiltration pits and plant vetiva grass, all this to conserve the environment and manage running waters that have been a problem in our gardens".

Banda further acknowledges the immense benefits of the project saying that their families’ welfare has also improved through the money they receive per month.

His Chiwale catchment area counterpart, Edison Daiseni, says that through the multi-donor trust fund programme, they have learned how to conserve forests and manage bush fires.

Group Village Headman Ntengula, whose area has seen a massive gulley, has engaged in gulley management where his team is planting vetiva grass up the gulley and planting trees around it.

"This gulley has affected us so much, as you can you the road that used to pass through here is cut, but through the interventions of public works, we are refiling it and in no time the land we be restored," he said.

The project's coordinator who is also Neno district council Land Resource Conservation officer Vincent Sambuka told us that it is their aim to see to it that all degraded lands around Neno are restored hence introducing the project last year.

He said that "we want to make sure that these people are equipped with knowledge of reclaiming the lands and we trained them in various ways of doing that".

Wezi Mhango, an extension worker for Chiwale catchment area has asked the communities to continue with the project when it phases saying the benefits are for the people and not for the government.

He then emphasized on the need to pass on the knowledge learnt to other people, sentiment which Mtsimuke catchment area extension worker Casper Mtambo has echoed.

Some of the beneficiaries have asked the donors to increase their work pay, which is 1,200 kwacha per day.

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