Malawi farmers urged to protect irrigation infrastructure as floods loom

The Ministry of Agriculture has urged irrigation farmers to protect irrigation infrastructure as Malawi expects heavy floods due to Cyclone Chalane.

Cyclone Chalane is expected to land in Mozambique on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 and reach Malawi on the same day.

Principal Secretary for Irrigation Sandram Mawelu said there is a reasonable probability that, from this date, rainfall activity in Malawi will likely intensify under the influence of the Cyclone Chalane.

“As is well known, cyclones sustain rainfall over long periods and space hence inducing heavy floods,” said Mawelu.

He then urged all Irrigation Water User Associations and irrigation farmers to exercise caution to minimise possible damage on irrigation infrastructure.

“Ensure that all obstructions at scheme intakes and reservoirs, which may impede free passage of floods, are removed immediately. This may be done through full opening of water gates, removal of logs, rocks and silt,” said Mawelu.

He added that farmers should take responsibility to ensure that Government resources are spent on developing new irrigation infrastructure across the country rather than rehabilitating flood – damaged irrigation infrastructure.