Neno Reaping Fruits of K170M Mwasip Grants

Kulani boots that goats have transformed his life. Kulani boots that goats have transformed his life.

The Malawi Watershed Services Improvement Project (Mwasip) is a government initiative being funded by the World Bank. It will run for six years to improve degraded lands, encourage land management and afforestation.

As a token of appreciation and encouragement to the communities to take up the initiative, the Neno District Council provided funds to Catchment Management Committees which have other sub committees called Village Level Action Plans (VLAPs) to venture into different businesses that are environmentally friendly.

For example, Dominic Kulani of Donda village under the Chekucheku sub catchment area has benefited from the K170 million which Mwasip, together with the Neno district council, gave out last year under the Community Environmental Funds (CECF).

Kulani was a well-known charcoal producer who was always at loggerheads with the law enforcers until he was convinced to abandon his business and access a grant of K58,000 which he used to buy goats.

"I was a stubborn charcoal producer and I destroyed a lot of trees to sustain my business, but after getting the grant, my life has improved since I am able to send my children to school and have also allowed my forest to undergo a regeneration process," he said.

Kulani plans now to build an iron sheet house from the proceeds of his goat sales and also after harvest: he bought fertilizer from goat sales.

Another beneficiary, Alfred Minjere, says he received K146,000 and bought goats and chickens as a means of survival after depleting his backyard forest due to charcoal business.

"I was a driver before coming to Neno to venture into charcoal production but now I have a tree seedlings nursery where I planted fruit seeds and other tree types. Last year I planted six thousand trees," he said.

As this was not enough, another family from the area of Senior Chief Dambe is in vegetable business way down the valley they own as part of a family forest.

Patrick Mabe from Mfundadzi Catchment Management together with his wife now wear smiling faces due to the money they make from their vegetable garden.

They also sell tomatoes and sugar cane which they produce from the valley which its waters run through the year thanks to trees they planted both upland and along the gully to retain soils and avoid erosions.

Mabe told Zodiak Online on Tuesday that" I am now able to send my kids to school, feed them with all the six group foods and we are looking well, all these are coming from the money I got from our group".

Mabe, in his future plans, wants to purchase modern farming equipment like treadle pumps to do away with the use of water cans.

In his remarks, Neno District Council Land Resources Officer Vincent Sambuka said the whole idea is to encourage communities to conserve the environment through alternative means, like agribusinesses.

He believes if all communities adopt the plan, in the next five years, the lost glory of Neno forests will be restored and issues of climate change dealt with.

The Mwasip project in Neno has 70 VLAPs in the areas of Traditional Authority Chekucheku, Senior Chief Dambe and Mlauli and parts of Senior Chief Symon.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 14/02/2024

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