24 December 2016, Mbeya — Tanzania and Malawi are expecting to implement a joint 180-megawatt electricity project that will enable each country to produce 90mw.
The two countries also expect to implement another joint project on irrigation where a total of 600 hectares will be developed, with 3000 farms in each country.
The implementation of the projects follows agreement over development for Songwe River Basin (SRBDP), signed by the Minister for Water and Irrigation, Engineer Gerson Lwenge and Malawian Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr George Chaponda.
They signed the agreement in Mbeya during a special ministerial meeting by the two countries whereby some of the projects to be implemented will include dam construction, tree planting and irrigation schemes.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Eng. Lwenge pointed out that the project is expected to cost the two countries more than 500 million US dollars. He went on to say that the project will benefit seven districts in the two countries whereby for Tanzanian side the five districts are Kyela, Ileje, Mbeya, Momba and Mbozi.
In Malawi, the minister said, the project will be implemented in the two districts of Chitipa and Kalonga, adding that this will go hand in hand with the construction of dams and modern irrigation schemes.
“This project will benefit our people in so many ways since we are expecting to produce 180 Megawatt of electricity, which will be shared equally between the two countries,” said Eng. Lwenge. He added that for irrigation, they intend to develop a total of 3,000 farms in both countries, which have the size of 600 hectares each.
These farms will be used for rice farming, which has a good market in and outside the country. In addition to this, fishing activities will also be improved,” noted Eng Lwenge.
For his side, Dr Chaponda said that when the project is completed, it will help in strengthening relationship between the two countries, expand business; and that once the basin is developed, it will help the driver to stay on course in its origin place.