by Felix Malamula
Members of Parliament under Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Public Infrastructure took time to visit construction works of Lingoni, Mlooka and Wowo irrigation schemes in Machinga, Zomba and Phalombe districts respectively.
This visit followed similar visits to Marko and Mafinga irrigation schemes in Chitipa district in May.
Chairperson of the Committee, Honorable Enock Phale, told farmers in the three schemes that his committee has special interest in the quality of the infrastructure that various contractors are delivering on behalf of Government.
“When we visit such projects, our eyes are mostly focused on the infrastructure. We want to appreciate how contractors are performing in terms of the quality of the works and the timely delivery of the same. Other committees may come to look at other aspects,” said Hon. Phale who is also a Member of Parliament for Salima North West.
Led by the Chairperson, the Members of Parliament visited the intakes, canals, and water reservoirs of the three schemes. At Lingoni where construction works are nearing completion, the MPs also appreciated some of the fields that have crops already planted using the water channeled into their fields through the scheme infrastructure.
In Phalombe, the MPs appreciated the devastation that Cyclone Freddy caused to the area including Wowo Irrigation Scheme.
“Clearly, the cyclone has reversed all the progress that was made. It is like the contractor is starting all over. When we go back, we will inform Parliament about this unfortunate development so that more support is provided to the construction works here,” added Hon. Phale.
Speaking during their visit to Mlooka irrigation scheme, the member of Parliament for Zomba Lisanjala, where Mlooka is being constructed, Hon. Susuwele Banda thanked government for the scheme being constructed.
The MP however expressed worry that the high-tech nature of the scheme will prove difficult for his subjects to operate once it is handed over to the farmers.
“It is my hope that the Ministry of Agriculture will give us personnel that will work with the farmers to transfer skills and knowledge on how to operate the technology around the scheme,” said Hon. Susuwele Banda.