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Friday, 11 May 2018 12:26

Communities in Balaka hail PCI’s Njira Project

Written by  Mary Makhiringa
Tazewell together with the whole delegation touring a cabbage garden - Pic by Mary Makhiringa Tazewell together with the whole delegation touring a cabbage garden - Pic by Mary Makhiringa

BALAKA, May 11, 2018: Communities at Ng’onga and Chiwaya villages in Balaka have expressed satisfaction with the Project Concern International’s (PCI) Njira initiative which has been touted as an effective transformation tool.

Speaking on Thursday during a visit to the two communities by Head of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission to Malawi, Littleton Tazewell one of the beneficiaries of the project, Henry William said unlike other interventions that aim at donating handouts, Njira initiative was exceptional.

“Many projects aim at making donations, but Njira project has always emphasized on imparting modern farming knowledge and techniques which cannot be taken away from us even after the project has phased out,” William said.

“I cultivate different vegetables, such as cabbages, rape which I sell at the end of the day and with this my household’s economic status has improved. With proceeds from my farming, I have managed to build a house and buy livestock,” he said.

William’s sentiments were shared by many other beneficiaries who included the youth of the area, who told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that the project has always kept them busy and that they get money at the end of the shortest period possible when they sell their yields.

On his part, head of the USAID Mission to Malawi, Tazewell said he was happy about community’s engagement in the project, saying: “I have observed some incredible work on the part of the people here; they have demonstrated the ability to adapt to the practices which I think is more important to the community.

“The communities need to build more on what they have been learning so that when the project ends, what we have witnessed here should be sustained.”

Country Director at PCI, Curt Cunne said the project aims at working together with community and the government to do a series of interventions related to improved food production, health, nutrition and disaster risk management.

“Our mission as PCI globally is to end hardships and one of the greatest hardships in this area is food insecurity, which is why it has been prioritized,” Cunne said. “Apart from the farming, we also teach the farmers livestock rearing as well as village savings and loans, in which over 33, 000 women are participating.”

Meanwhile, District Commissioner for Balaka, Rodrick Mateauma hailed PCI for the life changing project, saying it was timely and essential because it is contributing to the improvement of the district’s social economic profile.

Njira is a five year project which started in 2014 and works in the area of food security specifically targeting Balaka and Machinga as they are prone to disasters for sustainable development. Farmers are mainly provided with tools for irrigation in dry season.

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