Parliamentary Committee optimistic on Shire Valley Transformation Project economic impact

By Leah Malimbasa

Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance, Gladys Ganda, has said Shire Valley Transformation Project (SVTP) has the potential to improve the economy of this country.

Ganda was speaking during the committee’s supervisory visit to SVTP site in Chikwawa district on Thursday.

Ganda highlighted the project’s alignment with President Lazarus Chakwera’s vision to increase investments in agriculture, tourism, and mining as outlined in the State of the Nation Address.

“As the Budget and Finance Committee, our focus now is to collaborate with the Ministry of Finance to expedite this project. Accelerating this project will address foreign exchange challenges and reduce our dependence on imports, ultimately boosting our national energy levels,” said Ganda.

The Chairperson further underscored the importance of timely allocation and utilisation of funds to ensure the project’s successful completion within the projected timeline of seven years.

She then added that the benefits of the project would extend to all Malawians, emphasising its broader impact beyond individual sectors or regions.

“This project is not just for our country; it is for every Malawian. It is important therefore to support it adequately and reap its full benefits,” she added.

In his remarks, SVTP Project Coordinator Stanley Khaila said the project is progressing well despite facing challenges.

“Despite Cyclone Ana setback, our progress stands at 63 percent, indicating significant strides in Phase 1.

“We anticipate completing this 1st phase by May 2025, although a couple of months’ delay is a realistic expectation, given the circumstances,” he said.

Khaila said the project needs an additional 150 million dollars to overcome Cyclone Ana’s impact and also ensure that the first two farms commence irrigation by 2025.

After inspecting the project, the committee visited Mwanaalirenji Cooperative, one of the cooperatives expected to benefit from the SVTP, where they interacted with members of the cooperative.