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Implementation Service Provider for Catchment Management

The Shire River Basin is Malawi’s single most important water resource, supporting the country’s key economic sectors including food production, transport, energy, tourism, agriculture and fisheries. The Shire River Basin Management Program (SRBMP) aims to increase sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits by effectively and collaboratively planning, developing and managing the Shire River Basin’s natural resources.   LTS and consortium partners (Mott MacDonald and CDM) are implementing the first phase of the SRBMP by Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development. The World Bank financed project is being implemented to improve land and water management and protect and enhance the Shire River ecosystem, while providing livelihood benefits in target areas.

The programme is made up of three components – Shire basin planning, catchment management and water related infrastructure – and the consortium is responsible for the catchment management component. In order to achieve its objectives, LTS is assisting the Government:

  • develop institutional capacity for catchment planning and monitoring;
  • finance interventions identified in micro-catchment plans prepared under the above mentioned planning phase;
  • support demand and market driven income-generating activities, with special targeting of women, youth and landless groups, to gradually decrease dependency on low performance agriculture and unsustainable harvesting of forest products as sources of income.

This will aim to rehabilitate four catchments – Upper Lisungwi, Upper Wamkulumadzi, Kapichira Falls and Chingale – covering a combined area of approximately 133,000 ha. The consortium will develop methods to reduce soil erosion, utilise soil conservation methods and improve and diversify livelihoods.

LTS plays a central role in delivery of this decentralised capacity development programme:

  • Leading the process of sub-catchment assessment and planning with key stakeholders (e.g. VDCs).
  • Guiding and overseeing lower level micro-watershed planning, design and implementation of interventions with communities.
  • Being responsible for organising/delivering capacity development activities in these domains.
  • Leading the environmental assessment.
  • Contributing to the land and water resources assessment.
  • Preparing simple environmental plans for irrigation/agriculture works, with mitigation and monitoring programs and associated costs.
  • Ensuring that environmental considerations are integrated into micro-catchment plans.
  • Providing targeted training and technical support to individual farmers and/or clustered groups of farmers along product lines related to crop diversification, water management (including small-scale surface irrigation), conservation agriculture, and livestock production.
  • Contributing to land resources analysis.
  • Conducting non-agriculture-based value chain analysis.
  • Providing training and technical support to CIGs /communities in all technical, business and marketing matters related to establishing and operating small non-agriculture-based enterprises related to local natural resources (value-added processing activities, mushroom production, bee keeping, fish production, etc) and non-traditional enterprises such as small shops, trading, transport services, etc.

Based on the evolving plans and identified income-generating activities, LTS designs and implements sequentially a set of comprehensive capacity development programs, specifically targeted and tailored to the relevant categories and roles of project stakeholders: District; traditional leaders; common interest groups.  These include exposure visits to learn from other catchment management and rural livelihood experiences, and training activities to build capacity of institutions involved with project implementation.  The capacity building includes appropriate technical and fiduciary topics for training, including improved soil, land, and water management, bookkeeping, community procurement, M&E ledgers. Capacity development plans are prepared separately, with practical linkages with the catchment and micro-catchment plans.

Image credit: Brendan Howard

Service areas:
climate change