By Sam Majamanda – Mana.
Catchment Management Committees (CMCs) in five micro-catchment areas of the Enhanced Public Works Programme (EPWP) in Phalombe district are geared up to produce tangible outcomes in the integrated watershed management projects, thanks to a Njira Video Documentary they have seen.
A beaming of the documentary, which portrays best practices from Balaka and Machinga districts to the Phalombe Committees, last week sparked discussion among committee members on the best lessons drawn from it and initiated designing of strategies to achieve similar results in their area.
Forewoman for Sombani Micro-catchment, Eunice Nasiyaya said the documentary had energized her committee and changed their perceptions towards the EPWP projects that are expected to start soon.
“At first, we thought what was being suggested by the National Local Governance Finance Committee funded programme was had to do, however after watching what our friends have done in Machinga and Balaka we feel like we can do even more,” she said.
Nasiyaya pointed out that the documentary beaming idea was exceptional as trainings alone were not enough to encourage them in the upcoming undertaking which called for a lot of guidance and capacity building.
The NLGFC conducted documentary beaming sessions through District Information Offices in 10 districts that are piloting the EPWP as part of capacity building and preparation of Catchment Management Committees for implementation of the EPWP projects.
Among other things the documentary shows how self-starting community groups managed to initiate sustainable watershed projects that have solved some of the most pressing and persistent problems in their communities, rendering them worry free.
District Forestry Officer (DFO) for Phalombe, Moses Mtambo said the enthusiasm was a plus to the District Council in hopes that it would translate into action once the programme rolls out.
He said the Catchment Management Committees were critical to successes of the programme hence the need for them to be equipped with vast knowledge and experiences that would assist them to better lead in the implementation process.
“What we want in the end is for this programme to produce long lasting outputs that will not only benefit the people working in the projects but the community at large,” Mtambo added.
In Phalombe district the EPWP is expected to facilitate several environmental conservation projects with a good percentage of the projects being in areas of soil conservation and reforestation.