The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it has planted 500,000 trees in some districts to combat climate change and build water-resilient systems.
The project, among other goals, seeks to increase the resilience of water supply systems in Rumphi, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, Mangochi, and Phalombe.
Officer-in-Charge of the Water Development and Sanitation Department at AfDB, Oswald Chanda, said in a statement that 14 catchment management committees have also been created and more than 200,000 people have benefitted from the project.
He said building water-resilient infrastructure has been central to the AfDB’s work in Malawi.
“In alignment with Malawi’s National Adaptation Programme of Action, the AfDB designed the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Project for Improved Health and
Livelihoods to empower local communities, particularly women and youths, to adapt further to the devastating effects of climate change, ” Chanda said, adding that Malawi’s rainfall patterns experienced significant variation in the past decades because of climate change.
According to Chanda, like elsewhere in Africa, the bank, in collaboration with Malawi Government, decided to act and build stronger and resilient communities to cope with this scourge.
Chanda added that targeted communities are also supported with alternative livelihood activities such as beekeeping and animal rearing.
“Enhancing sector reforms, strengthening the capacity of women and youth, building sector knowledge for better decision making and empowering capacities of district councils and rural communities were also core objectives of this project,” Chanda said.
Currently, more than
16,500 people have started accessing clean water from 60 boreholes which have been commissioned, 240,000 pupils are accessing improved sanitation services from 147 sanitation facilities constructed.
“Beneficiaries also noted that not only do they use more water than before, it is also of improved quality. Improved sanitation at village level has resulted in fewer cases of malaria,” Chanda said.
The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Trust Fund is contributing Euro 2.7 million to fund the project.
Other funding came from the African Development Fund, the Nigerian Trust Fund and the Government of Malawi. The total financing of the project is Euro 25.61 million.
The Bank said by the time the project will be completed in 2019, about 516,000 people are expected to have gained access to improved water supply and 575,000 to improved sanitation.
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