World Bank Team interacting with landowners
AfDB delegates on site










Construction works impress World Bank, AfDB

The construction of a large-scale irrigation scheme in the Shire Valley has been on the drawing board for over 80 years. Different funders have over the years made contributions towards the materialization of this life-changing development initiative.

SVTP co-financiers World Bank and African Development Bank recently held missions to the project.

The World Bank held a month-long mission that included a mid-term review of the project and preparations for Phase 2 from 1st to 30th September 2021.ย  Some of the key activities during the mission included the review of progress against planned activities, projection of remaining activities and budgeting for the first phase, field visits, preparation of documents for funding consideration for the second phase of the project, and stakeholder engagement at community and national levels among others.ย  The World Bank is funding the first phase of the project to the tune of $160 million.

โ€œWe are very happy with the progress the project has made in the construction of the intake and first 6kms.ย  It is pleasing to witness the realization of the vision that was conceptualized over 80 years ago.ย  As the World Bank, we are committed to supporting the Government of Malawi in national development efforts one of which is this project of national importance,โ€ said Joop Stoutjesdijk, Lead Irrigation Engineer for the World Bank and Task Team Leader for the SVTP.

Commenting during his visit to the construction site, African Development Bank Country Manager for Malawi Mcmillan Anyanwu expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the project.ย  He was accompanied by the AfDBโ€™s Principal Rural Infrastructure Engineer Dr. Wael Soliman.

โ€œProgress of the works on this site is very impressive despite challenges faced with COVID-19. As a Bank we are committed to supporting Malawi to boost the agriculture sector through this initiative.ย  We look forward to seeing the same momentum maintained as the project continues,โ€ he said.

Progress of the construction of the intake plus the first 6kms of the main canal is at 55 percent.

The AfDB mission took place from 30th September to 1st October 2021.ย  The aim of the mission was to appreciate the progress made in the construction of the intake plus the first 6kms of the main canal and preparedness for the construction of 46kms of the canal.ย  AfDB is co-financing the construction of the 46kms stretch up to Lengwe National Park to the tune of $50 million.ย  The contractor is mobilizing to commence construction works for this section.

Director of Irrigation Engineer Geoffrey Mamba expressed gratitude to the development partners for financial commitment towards the project on behalf of the Government of Malawi.

โ€œI would like to express our profound gratitude to our development partners for their commitment towards realization of this treasured national investment.ย It is not always easy to get such kind of commitment from development partners. The SVTP will irrigate 43,370 hectares which translates to about 11 percent of all irrigable land in the Country.ย  The Government is working tirelessly to increase irrigable land as a way of boosting the agriculture production and productivity in the Country.ย  Currently 136,000 of 407,862 hectares of irrigable land has been developed.ย  Collaborative efforts are, therefore, of paramount importance in delivering the three goods of jobs, wealth creation and food security, through the SVTP,โ€ he said.

The first phase of the SVTP is being funded by the Government of Malawi, the World Bank, the African Development Fund, OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Global Environment Facility to the tune of $223 million.