Water & sanitation
Chigumukire (Nsanje) | Malawi

Agricultural development

Agricultural Development - Chigumukire (Nsanje) - Malawi
In progress
Project Status
In progress

There is an urgent need to ease the annual variations in an environment where drought and distance from rivers can be mitigated through irrigation. The local chief has donated a plot of land for the project, and there is a well in place that has a verified flow of 7200 Litres/hour (1584 Imp Gal/hour) with a depth of 43 metres (141 feet).

The Chigumukire irrigation project is located on 5.5 acres gifted by the local chief, and is the area on which the Timotheos Foundation will grow crops. These crops will be used first by the Child Care Centre (CCC) with any surplus being sold to offset the operational costs of the farm. This project will also serve as a pilot project for future expansion that will allow the local community to also grow their own crops.

Historically, the village has irrigated through flooding irrigation ditches which necessitates a change in their management of water resources, teaching and monitoring how this project can be implemented. To this end, annual operational costs are important to the success of the project. While there is a significant upfront investment, there will be a reduction in the annual operational costs each year of success, and the expectation is for the project to become self sustainable.

Latest update

Solving problems...drip by drip

Southern Irrigation travelled to Nsanje, Malawi to come alongside the Timotheos Foundation Malawi at their Chigumukire Child Care Center. Together with local farmers, the team worked on a test plot and put in drip irrigation lines to test how this impacts the growth of the crops. Previously, local farmers used flood irrigation which often drowned the seeds. With the drip irrigation system, farmers should be able to provide enough water to supply the needs of plants even in the dry season.  

The challenge for the team, even with their irrigation expertise, was to find African solutions to what might have been fairly simple to fix in their home country. However, no challenge was too big, and the team left with a working drip irrigation system.

They also implemented drip irrigation around some of the banana trees.  

Managing and educating local farmers is the bottleneck of this project for several reasons. First, it is a new system for the farmers and they have not yet learned how to effectively manage it; the intense rain in the rainy season and the extreme drought in the dry season of southern Malawi adds complications.

When the Chigumukire field starts producing more crops, it will instantly create an income flow for the Child Care Center, so every small improvement contributes to the improvement of the yield and, in turn, to the care of children.  

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