It’s been a great day in the dry heat of Rumphi District where we’ve been out in the fields all day to get an understanding of the challenges we face in bringing irrigation to hundreds of smallholder farmers here. The land is dry and dusty all down the valley but we know that water can bring life and growth to the land and hope to the people. This time next year the valley should be lush and green.
Gareth is our solar expert and has the task of getting 400 solar panels to Malawi and then securing them to a purpose built frame over a 3 acre site – all easily done in the UK but a real challenge here. Meanwhile Malawi Fruits staff will be working with the farmers to provide training and support to ensure that they are ready when the irrigation comes later this year.
We were standing at the bridge over the river which is the source of water for the irrigation scheme and were discussing all that needs to be done. One task is to build a weir to ensure an adequate water level – would we do this with a mechanical digger or a whole squad of Malawian workmen? We then saw a Green Mamba snake slide off the rocks and into the water and I decided that I, for one, will not be standing in that river with a shovel building a weir!