EPWP Paying Dividends - Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries of the Enhanced Public Works Program (EPWP) in Phalombe say the initiative is yielding significant benefits for the people in the district.
Charity Chitseko, Secretary for the Migowi Catchment Management Committee, told Zodiak Online on Monday that the program has played a crucial role in the restoration of degraded hills such as Mwananyani through extensive tree planting efforts.
Chitseko highlighted that beneficiaries of the program are now experiencing increased agricultural yields due to the adoption of new farming techniques, along with the construction of stone bands to regulate water flow from the hills.
"Before the inception of the program, residents living at the base of Mwananyani struggled to produce enough food due to frequent runoff water, fueling land degradation," said Chitseko.
She also mentioned that GIZ through the government provided support in the form of goats to the beneficiaries, with Chitseko herself receiving five goats.
Village Headman Ganeti emphasized that stringent bylaws have helped protect trees on Mwananyani hill, with offenders facing legal consequences and court referrals to deter further deforestation.
Aaron M'mwala, the Acting Land Resource Conservation Officer for Phalombe District Council, said the program has yielded positive economic impact on the community.
M'mwala urged collective efforts to ensure the restoration of all degraded forests in Phalombe, which comprises 16 catchment areas with 18,969 people benefiting.