Environment and Natural Resource Management (ENRM) Project

The Shire river is critically important to Malawi’s electricity generation. 98% of all electricity in the grid stems from the Shire river. The river has been badly impacted by aquatic weeds and excessive sedimentation, which cause costly disruptions to the power plants downstream.
The USD 27.9 million ENRM programme will help reduce the impact of weed and sedimentation on power generation. The project will address the root causes in the Shire River, thereby benefitting both ESCOM and the local farming communities that are dependent on the Shire River.

The ENRM will also tackle the root causes (and benefit local farming communities) by helping address some of the environmental, social and economic factors that lead to land-use degradation.

Part of the problem is the heavy reliance on charcoal for cooking, which is leading to widespread deforestation, resulting in erosion, siltation, and a reduction in soil fertility. This has a very negative impact on subsistence farmers, and is increasing the risk of flood as well as damaging the infrastructure of the country’s power plants. Through various initiatives, the ERNM programme will promote sustainable management practices.