By Rogers Siula
Communities in Nsanje and Phalombe districts have embarked on an exercise that seeks to mitigate floods affecting their farms.
In Nsanje, the people are using sand and sacks to construct local dykes along Ruo River to block water from flooding but also boost their irrigation schemes.
Wyson Thenifodi, a farmer from Suzanna Village in T/A Mlolo says the dykes will be further supported planting around them vertiva grass.
“Year in year out, our farms have been swept with floods leaving us in dire destitute for food. These dykes will surely help preserve our farm products and the farm land from getting eroded by forces of water,” said Thenifodi.
In Phalombe, the community around Chipalanje mountain in T/A Kaduya is digging trenches to mitigate the impact of floods.
Lead farmer Divason Masikini from Chabuka Village in Phalombe observed that as the rainy season is pending, the exercise has come at the right now.
“There’s 333 of us here participating in this cash for work to safeguard our farming land. The trenches we are digging will control the flow of water from the mountain overseeing our area,” he said.
The exercise is powered by Oxfam’s cash for work under its Emergency and Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihoods programme which seeks to rebuild and strengthen livelihoods for longer term viability.
EFSVL Team Leader for Oxfam Tapiwa Jamu said the cash for work programme is part of the interventions lined up to restore and sustain livelihoods of flood victims in Nsanje and Phalombe districts.
“Cash for work helps communities take ownership in rebuilding their infrastructure. It is impressive to see that both men and women are embracing this exercise. The money they will receive will also be instrumental in making ends meet in their day to day lives,” said Jamu.
According to Jamu, 6500 people are on target as beneficiaries of cash for work programme in both districts.