The infrastructure in the irrigation schemes is not in place yet. Construction of the irrigation schemes is likely to start in 2021 with all processes involved pointing to this fact. PRIDE is yet to identify contractors to put in place necessary infrastructure that will define a proper scheme.
However, the wheels preparing the beneficiary communities are already in motion. Experts in different fields from government departments, district implementing teams and others players involved have gone all out to put in place different strategies and approaches that are positioning beneficiary communities for optimal tapping of benefits once the schemes are fully operational.
“As a family, we were assisted to draw up a three year family vision, the approaches we will follow to achieve our vision while also considering threats and opportunities in the process,” explains Ephraim Chilongo, a beneficiary farmer from Village Headman Kenani in Paramount Chief Kyungu’s area in Karonga, a district that sits 245 kilometres north of Mzuzu City, the northern region administrative headquarters.
Through the Household Approach PRIDE introduced in the project communities, households have been trained and encouraged to come up with visions that will they have to work towards achieving. The visions are put up through drawings in a participatory manner involving all household members.
“I took part in drawing up our vision. That is why I can ably explain it,” says Fyness Msiska, Chilongo’s wife.
In their 3-year-old vision, Chilongo and his wife want to achieve a beautiful iron sheet-thatched house, plenty of livestock including cows.
“We know we will achieve this because PRIDE has already given us five goats which we are raising. When they multiply, we will pass-on to another household the same number of goats,” he says.
Chitipa District Irrigation Officer, Brino White discloses that the different approaches and strategies aim to prepare the households in all communities hosting the schemes so that they benefit more when the schemes are fully operational.
“We don’t want them (households) to be caught unprepared to take advantage of the schemes. This is why in all their visions they have the schemes in mind,” he says.
Household approach aside, Farmer Field Schools, Farmer Business Schools and the Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) are some of the approaches and strategies put in place for farmers to achieve more once the schemes are operational.