The Hunger Project and Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi Partner to Increase Efficiency in Hydropower Generation

December 14, 2015

December 14—New York, New York—The Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi (MCA -Malawi) has awarded The Hunger Project a three-year US$519,000.00 grant to implement the “Environment and Natural Resources Management Project” aimed at sustainability and increasing the efficiency of Malawi’s hydropower generation.

The project seeks to increase participation of community members in integrated natural resources management, reduce environmental degradation and improve livelihoods through environmentally friendly agricultural and income generating activities in the Shire River basin in Lisungwi and Mwetang’ombe catchment areas in the Southern District of Neno.

This project targets hydroelectric energy generated from the Shire River, which is currently the only major source of power in Malawi. Siltation—the pollution of water by silt—and sedimentation on the Shire River are contributing to inefficiency in hydropower generation resulting in frequent power interruptions and blackouts. This is heavily affecting economic growth in Malawi.

As such, the project targets an area that has been exposed to significant environmental degradation and natural resources depletion from heavy deforestation. Charcoal burning, tobacco processing and a lack of modern farming technologies are major contributing factors to environmental degradation.

The Hunger Project will work directly with communities and key stakeholders such as local leaders in the area to change people’s mindsets so they can adopt positive attitudes, increase crop production, adopt modern and environmental friendly farming methods and increase incomes as a result.

In addition, the project will promote community engagement to improve joint decision making, women’s and men’s empowerment and sustainable management of natural resources through proven participatory methodologies.

“In an area where environmental degradation is increasing, the project will support famers—especially women—to engage in productive and environmental friendly income generating activities. Not only will it improve the environment and increase hydroelectric energy, it will improve the livelihoods and income of those currently in the community,” Country Director of The Hunger Project-Malawi, Rowlands Kaotcha said.

The project will meet its objectives through peer-to-peer experiential learning and knowledge sharing on conservation farming; the use of saving loans that promote environmentally-friendly businesses; the promotion of income generating activities such as honey production; and the promotion of women’s participation in decision making processes through trainings.

The Hunger Project-Malawi has vast experience working with communities and structures at a local level, including the Village Development Committees, community based organizations, and village based organizations like the Village Natural Resources Management Committees (VNRMC), which will be essential in making this project successful. “We believe that there is a need for a transfer of skills at the local level before interventions can be carried out. This project does just that,” Kaotcha said.

“The Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi is proud to be associated with the Hunger Project. This is a huge task which requires concerted efforts by the Hunger Project and Communities is its catchment area. The success of this project lies in the Hunger Project being transparent and inclusive from conceptualization to implementation and in monitoring and evaluations,” Zilani Khonje MCA-Malawi’s Communications and Outreach Director said.

About The Hunger Project

The Hunger Project is a global non-profit organization whose mission is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world. The Hunger Project is active in 22 countries throughout the world, with global headquarters based in New York. For more information, visit www.thp.org.

The Hunger Project awarded Nelson Mandela its Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger in 1994, at a ceremony with Former US President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC.

About the Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi

The Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi is implementing the Power Sector Revitalisation Program with funding from the US Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

The Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States of America, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (the “MCC”), and the Government of Malawi (the “Government”) signed of April 7, 2011 (the “Compact”) sets forth the general terms on which MCC will provide assistance of up to Three Hundred and Fifty Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$350.700,000) (“MCC Funding”)  to the Government for a program to reduce poverty through economic growth in Malawi (the “Program”). The Government of Malawi incorporated the Registered Trustees of Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi (“MCA-Malawi”), as a public trust under the Trustees Incorporation Act (Cap 5:03) of the Laws of Malawi, to act as its designee in the supervision, management, administration and implementation of the program.

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Our work in Malawi
Water, Sanitation and Environment in Malawi