Malawi Gets K120bn World Bank Funds to Fight Poverty, Land Degradation

Toulmin: Degradation levels worrisome Toulmin: Degradation levels worrisome pic File Photo

The World Bank has made available K120bn to Malawi to help improve rural livelihoods and protection of watersheds.

World Bank Country Manager, Greg Toulmin, says in a statement issued Monday that the support has been given realizing that land degradation is a challenge hampering Malawi’s economic progress.

Seventy eight million five hundred thousand dollars of this amount is a credit whereas the rest is a grant.

“Land degradation in Malawi is a major challenge, arising from environmental, climatic and other pressures. Previous projects, supported by the World Bank and other partners, have demonstrated that it is possible to restore degraded landscapes through an integrated package of interventions involving land and water management,” says Toulmin.

“So, we see a long-term partnership between the World Bank and the Government of Malawi as crucial to these efforts at improving livelihoods and building rural resilience, especially in the context of Malawi’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Malawi’s water resources are under threat from severe land degradation and loss of forest cover as critical watersheds are becoming degraded, leading to reduced water availability, deteriorating water quality, increased vulnerability to droughts and floods, reduced energy security, and reduced agricultural productivity.

The Malawi Watershed Services Improvement Project(MWASIP) aims to increase adoption of sustainable landscape management practices in priority watersheds and improve watershed services and rural livelihoods.

“Nearly eight million hectares, which is 80 percent of the total land area of Malawi, is degraded and requires restoration. Soil erosion and nutrient depletion are the most severe forms of land degradation that affect more than 60 percent of the entire land area.

“We have committed in our strategy to restore 4.5 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, and this project is the first opportunity we must invest at scale in reversing landscape degradation and protecting our most important watersheds,” says Dr. Henrie Njoloma, Secretary for Irrigation and Water Development.

The project is the first in a series of operations aimed at supporting the implementation of the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy.

Within the first three years, the project is expected to provide livelihood support to over a quarter million beneficiaries through various community grant schemes designed to encourage better land stewardship.

The project will enhance the capacity of watershed management institutions at all levels to sustain interventions beyond the project and builds on the success of another World Bank-supported project, the Shire River Basin Management.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 07/07/2020

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