Hi my name is Mphatso, I’m a local ICS volunteer, and I live in Salima. Salima is a district in Malawi, were the majority of people live in villages and rely on small scale farming to support their families. The people within Salima really depend on irrigation farming to help secure them food throughout the year.
On the last ICS program we visited a village called Luviele. With the help of Siwombo, an irrigation engineer from the Government, we trained the villagers on how to set up irrigation canals, and practice irrigation using a treadle pump. The villagers asked if we would help them construct a canal, which was constructed out of mud and lined it with black plastic paper. The interesting part of it was that the whole team of ICS and the villagers were taking part, this showed that the people were eager and excited about the project.
This was done during my first placement with ICS, and now I’m on my second placement. Last week we went to visit the same villagers to see the impact of the irrigation canals. The scheme is a success and people are now a cooperative. The people seem like they are happy using that system and have crops in their fields which are almost ready to harvest. I think that what the rural Malawians lack most is knowledge, but when they are given knowledge they are eager to learn and are committed to their work.
Next week we are visiting Luviele again, we have arranged to help them improve their irrigation system by lining their channels with brick before the start of the rainy season. I’m looking forward to going back with the second group of U.K. volunteers and seeing the project progress!
Blog by: Local ICS Volunteer Mphatso
Photo 1: Mphatso on her way to the field!
Photo 2: Current ICS volunteers at Luviele irrigation site, a project implemented by the last set of ICS volunteers.