Water Witness International make the news as their Water Stewardship Malawi initiative takes off!
In late 2017 Water Witness International launched Water Stewardship Malawi which, with £200,000 support from the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund, and partnerships with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) and Just Trading Scotland, will establish Malawi as a hub for sound water management in Africa. From our new offices in Blantyre the team will be supporting implementation of the AWS international Water Stewardship Standard at strategically selected sites to deliver improved water security for vulnerable farmers, businesses and communities. Lessons learned will contribution to valuable global learning and guidance on the application of the AWS Standard for future use by other African water users.
As well as supporting implementation of the Standard in Malawi, the Initiative will build local skills and expertise within Malawi, and establish a centre of excellence and leadership in water stewardship, which will ultimately help drive uptake of better water stewardship practices across the whole of Africa.
Dr Nick Hepworth, Director of Water Witness International said:
"This work is vitally important not just for the farmers involved but because through it we are building a system to guide and recognise responsible use of water for economic growth in Africa and beyond. It’s about breaking free from the aid agenda, and making sure that the increasingly globalised economy works for small farmers, their communities and the environment.
"Poor water management constrains growth in many parts of the world and our work with the Alliance for Water Stewardship is a promising way to address this. It’s fantastic that the Scottish Government shares our vision and has the foresight to invest in initiatives like this, but the real heroes here are the small-farmers grafting hard to literally dig themselves out of poverty."
Work has already started with a smallholder association of 7500 rice farmers in Northern Malawi, who grow Kilombero Rice, which is available on Scottish shelves with the support of Just Trading Scotland (www.jts.co.uk). Implementation of the Standard is also imminent at Malawi’s largest hospital in Blantyre and at a 900ha sugar plantation managed by large agri-business Agricane. Activities will commence at a nut plantation over the coming months.