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Community meeting

Shire River Basin Management Program (Phase 1), Malawi

We’re working on the catchment component of the Shire River Basin Management Program (Phase 1), Malawi, to improve land and water resources and bring social, economic and environmental benefits. Our experts will help rehabilitate and manage catchment areas and protected areas to reduce erosion and improve lives.

We are very pleased with the work that Mott MacDonald is delivering for us under the catchment management component of the Shire River Basin Management Program. They have developed a good understanding of the issues on the ground and are working well and effectively to develop usable and realistic management plans for these areas.

William Chipeta, Project Coordinator, Shire River Basin Management Program (Phase I)

Key facts

  • Four catchment areas will be rehabilitated in the first phase of the program. These include the Upper Lisungwi in Ntcheu District, the Upper Wamkulumadzi in Neno District, the escarpment upstream of Kapichira Falls in Blantyre District and the Chingale catchment in the Zomba and Machinga Districts. These catchment areas combined cover approximately 130,000 ha.
  • The largest river in Malawi, Shire River Basin is clearly crucial to the country's economic, environmental and social wellbeing. It is the location for the production of 96% of Malawi's electricity from hydropower as well as the source of water for Blantyre District and several major irrigation schemes. Its forests and land resources also support critical ecosystem services while contributing to a number of key sectors.
  • The program is financed by the World Bank. Client is Malawi Government.


To protect and manage the Shire River Basin ecosystem while enhancing its opportunities for economic growth and poverty alleviation.


Our experts will develop and implement methods and interventions to restore and protect the basin’s natural resources and existing infrastructure. We will play a strong role in mobilising communities and community organisations at district and village levels with the aim of improving land, soil and forest management and increasing agricultural productivity and non-agricultural enterprises in a sustainable way.

Value and benefits

  • Mott MacDonald is supporting Malawi Government's vision in realising the importance of ecosystem services to economic growth and poverty alleviation.
  • We'll be working closely with the communities living in the catchments areas to give guidance on ownership and sustainable practices. This will enable them to help themselves in implementing changes in agricultural practices, developing alternative livelihoods and handling tree planting and soil erosion.
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