Saturday, December 24, 2016

Malawi, Tanzania Agree on Electricity and Irrigation
Bright Malenga

Tanzania and Malawi are expecting to implement a joint 180 megawatt electricity project that will enable each country to produce 90 megawatts, Malawi24 understands.

The two countries also expect to implement another joint project on irrigation where a total of 600 hectares will be developed, with 3000 farms in each country.

The implementation of the projects follow agreement over development for Songwe River Basin Development Programme (SRBDP), signed by the Tanzanian Minister for Water and Irrigation Engineer Gerson Lwenge and Malawian Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development Dr George Chaponda.

They signed the agreement in Mbeya during a special ministerial meeting by the two countries and some of the projects to be implemented will include dam construction, tree planting, and irrigation schemes.

Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Lwenge pointed out that the project is expected to cost the two countries more than 500 million US dollars. He went on to say that the project will benefit seven districts in the two countries whereby for Tanzanian side the districts are Kyela, Ileje, Mbeya, Momba and Mbozi.

“This project will benefit our people in so many ways since we are expecting to produce 180 megawatt of electricity, which will be shared equally between the two countries,” said Eng. Lwenge.

He added that for irrigation, they intend to develop a total of 3,000 farms which have the size of 600 hectares each.

“These farms will be used for rice farming, which has a good market in and outside the country. In addition to this, fishing activities will also be improved,” noted Lwenge.

For his side, Dr Chaponda said the project will be implemented in Chitipa and Karonga, adding that this will go hand in hand with the construction of dams and modern irrigation schemes.

He further said that when the project is completed, it will help in strengthening relationship between the two countries, expand business; and that once the basin is developed, it will help the Songwe River to stay on course in its origin place.

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