Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Our Resilience Innovation Challenge

In December 2015, AWP was awarded a grant by the Resilient Africa Network (www.ranlab.org) to develop a prototype for irrigation in Chikwawa District of Malawi. Chikwawa is in the Southern Region of Malawi, along the Shire River Valley. The Shire River is the outlet of Lake Malawi that flows into the Zambezi River and out to the Indian Ocean through Mozambique.
River and pump house in Chikwawa
Chikwawa is an environmentally vulnerable district. Flood and droughts that periodically affect the country tend to have their biggest impact in Chikwawa. Heavy rain upstream does not benefit crops in the ground at Chikwawa, but can still result in floods that wipe out entire villages.
Defunct Irrigation - many irrigation sites in Chikwawa have gone out of use. Why and how do we prevent that?
AWP will be working with two traditional authorities (i.e. chiefdoms the size of small counties) to design new irrigation methods and technologies that are appropriate for the district. While we have our ideas, we are inviting the local communities to provide insight into the design they think will best serve them. For the next six months, we will be developing the prototype, and eventually presenting the design to the community for their feedback.
Power at the river bank. Sounds like a good place for irrigation.
If the design is successful, AWP may have the opportunity to pilot, test and scale the design.
Chikwawa District Executive Committee - collaborating with other development workers

The pump house for an electric motor pump. The site is not operational but has potential. What can we do better?

Prime for irrigation. The Shire Rive cuts through the valley.