Minister warns of more climate change effects


Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza has warned of more drastic effects of climate change to the water sector if proper strategies are not put in place in the short, medium and long terms.

Speaking in Lilongwe yesterday when he presided over the opening of the eighth Irrigation, Water and Sanitation Joint Sector Review (JRS) workshop, Chiyembekeza said the sector is worst hit when disasters related to climate change occur.

He added that the experience of floods in the 2014/15 rain season should be enough lesson that climate change is real and needs deliberate interventions regarding how water is managed both as a resource and a product.


“How prepared are we to face these challenges? What strategies are we putting in place for the short, medium and long term for these occurrences? These are some of the questions that should be hovering in our minds. They are real issues which if not attended to, then the country is in for the worst,” said Chiyembekeza.

During the workshop— that runs up to today— different stakeholders including Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and development partners are deliberating on the future of the water sector in the country.

Speaking on behalf NGOs in the water sector, Water and Environmental Sanitation Network (Wesn) Board Treasurer, Mary Ching’ang’a, said one of the biggest challenges the sector faces in the country is to do with staffing at the district level.


“When implementing our projects in the sector in the districts, we normally use staff from the ministry to come and help us like when we are doing our training.

“So because of this problem, implementation is a challenge. As NGOs, we are complementing government’s efforts in water, sanitation and irrigation,” said

But according to Chiyembekeza, there is need for effective and efficient utilisation of the resources that are there.

“Many times we have also recommended integrated approach and enhanced coordination as having high potential of improving effectiveness and efficiency, but the question is how much have we done on sector integration and coordination and whether what we have done has worked?

“What is it that we need to do now? I therefore repeat my call to you all as stakeholders to critically review the impediments to the sector integration and institutionalisation of the Swap and recommend effective interventions for enhancing coordination in the sector,” he said.

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