22 January 2021
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Plan International Malawi gears to fight GBV through Artist

Lilongwe, November 26, 2020: Plan international Malawi has said that every citizen in the country has the responsibility to fighting against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country. This Year’s theme of 16 days of activism is prevention, response, report and funding. In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Communications Officer for Plan International Malawi, Chawanangwa Nyirenda said that they are appealing to all Malawians to stop GBV. “We have planned very well for this year’s 16 days of activism whereby as one way of mobilizing the messages to people, we are working together with the media, internet, youths, and dialogue session with different stakeholders and government,” he said.
 
Nyirenda added that they are working with Banks as a way of spreading the information across the country as this would help to find solutions to end GBV. “We have joined hands with FDH Bank in spreading the messages as they have sponsored the competition known “as in my lens” which focuses on designers, photographers and artist,” he added “We have call upon artist, photographers, graphic designers just to give us ideology where there is no violence, how would it look like when women and girls are living freely without GBV, and why is it important to end it in our country,” the officer said. Nyirenda added that the country was experiencing rise in GBV and this directly affects the socio-economic development of any nation and its democracy. “When girls and women are not given equal rights as men, and are not allowed to have access to education, job, promotions, this means they are being denied in their lives to develop as human being and this will end up our country being stuck,” he said. The Communications Officer asked vulnerable people like children, women, and girls to be open and report any case of abuse and all cases of violence. “We have high expectations that there will be equal mechanism after this campaign and that people will stop gender based violence and there will be no any of abuses in every community,” he pointed out. Plan International Malawi has pleaded Malawi Police Service, Non-Governmental Organizations, traditional leaders and all other stakeholders to join hands in fighting against GBV not only in this 16 day of activism, but beyond. The 16 days of activism have started on November 25 to December 10, 2020. Ministry of Gender, Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and other stakeholders are advocates of the 16 days of activism campaign in raising awareness to people about GBV.  


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Innovation vital in addressing forestry challenges

Lilongwe, November 26, 2020: Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo, has said addressing forestry challenges requires innovation, resources and efforts from all stakeholders in order to ensure sustainable economic growth and development through proceeds realised from the country’s natural resource base. The Minister was speaking in Lilongwe on Wednesday during the launch of the Malawi Clean Cooking Fund. The Malawi Cooking Fund is a US$1.1 million performance-based grant fund designed to increase the supply of, and demand for alternative cooking energies and fuel-efficient cooking technologies in the country, as well as the supply of sustainable wood fuels from well managed forest resources. She said the country’s economic development and social wellbeing depends, to a large extent, on natural resource base and yet forests are under intense pressure from a variety of factors. Tembo expressed concern that the country was losing much of its forest cover due to wanton cutting down of trees which has a negative effect on other natural resources, energy and health. “While I was growing up, forests covered more than half of our land but sadly the situation has changed now. Annually, we are losing 0.63 percent of forest cover which is roughly 15, 000 hectares per year,” she said. MCHF Chief of Party, Ramzy Kanaan said cooking technologies are important in addressing energy challenges. He said there are great entrepreneurs in the country making stoves hence the fund was an opportunity to improve stove designs which could save half the charcoal being used. “We are talking cooking fuels and cooking technologies. Having an improved version of cooking fuel is probably the easiest change to make,” Kanaan said. USAID Malawi Deputy Mission Director, Fenton Sands said the motivation to fund the activity was based on deforestation and heavy use of charcoal in urban areas. “We had a project that tried to work with the forest and we figured that this time we need to work with the main side of charcoal. That was the basic motivation behind trying to get innovation on how to tackle primarily the urban demand for charcoal and firewood,” he said. Sands said Ghana was another country which struggled with deforestation but addressed it through technology saying this was the beginning for the country to achieve that through technology. Recent National Forest Inventory and Calculation shows that forests now cover only 25 percent of the country’s land. Modern Cooking for Health Forests in Malawi (MCHF) is implementing the five-year activity whose target is to have an alternative cooking energy on an improved technology in 30 percent of urban households. It is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UKAid. Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Deputy Development Director, Martin Dawson described the initiative as interesting saying it would accord the private sector come up with innovative ideas to use ground resources carefully. He said the initiative was a good point of view in managing forests, climate change a
nd health issues.
“This is a huge opportunity for people to be innovative to good solutions. It is all about making positive change. It’s good to push for alternative sources as this is being implemented. “What we hope for is that the private sector to be involved and engage whatever products are designed that are marketable and affordable in order to sustain the initiative,” Dawson said. It is estimated that unsustainable natural resource use is costing the country more than US$191 million which is 5.3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year. The Fund is structured to support and improve adoption of market based improved cook stove and sustainable fuel supply chain solutions in urban areas and the delivery and adoption of fuel-efficient cooking technologies in selected rural areas. The Fund will provide financing to the innovative entrepreneurs that have the creativity and business vision to transform cooking and change history in the country.  


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SADC Troika to tackle emerging security Issues

Gaborone, November 26, 2020: Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luckie Sikwese has said that the extra Ordinary Southern African Development Committee (SADC) Troika Summit for Defence and Security Organ, which will take place on Friday, November 27. 2020 in Gaborone Botswana will help to bring solutions to some emerging security challenges the region is facing. Speaking in Gaborone Botswana, on Thursday, ahead of the Summit, he said that the summit would tackle issues of some pockets of terrorism in the region especially in Mozambique and the proposed change in the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “The leaders will discuss on how the regional grouping should tackle terrorism attacks in northern part of Mozambique and the proposal by the United Nations to make some changes in the Force Intervention Brigade,” Sikwese explained. He said the urgency of the matter at hand has forced the regional grouping to call for a physical meeting despite the Covid-19 epidemic. “The two security issues are crucial for the continued peace in the region hence the chair of the SADC Troika, President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi found it necessary to call for this extra ordinary meeting,” the Principal Secretary added. Sikwese said that the State President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr Lazarus Chakwera will arrive in Botswana on Friday morning for the meeting and return home the same day. Other heads of States expected to attend the summit are Presidents of United Republic of Tanzania, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe.


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Balaka DHO winning the fight against TB

Balaka, November 26, 2020: District Tuberculosis (TB) Coordinator at Balaka District Health Office (DHO), Thomas Bizeck disclosed that that the district was making positive strides in TB response saying the district’s current cure rate stands at 86.6 per cent. He said team work and dedication of health workers across the district has attributed to the district’s success story as treatment rate is at 92 percent while cure rate is at 89.6 percent. Bizeck made the remarks during a TB review meeting Wednesday on mines project as different stakeholders working in the project were drawn to a quarter review.  “We are winning this battle, a lot of patients are coming for treatment and some are found during several sputum collection outreach sessions that we conduct to make sure that everyone is given a chance to test for TB,” he said. Balaka DHO has tested 178 TB patients this was made possible due to dedication of community workers, according to the TB coordinator. He called on the Ministry of Health to facilitate setting up separate TB ward at District Hospital saying the current situation was a setback in TB response. “We do not have a TB ward at the main hospital, patients are mixed, and this is a setback, TB patients need adequate ventilation, so we are calling upon the government to come forward and assist,” the Coordinator added. He cited non-medical seeking behaviour as another setback in the TB response saying some people seek medical attention in a critical stage. Bizeck said seeking medical attention at such stage of TB is problematic saying “this situation was very difficult to control,” He added that Balaka District Hospital would continue sensitizing the community on the need to always get tested for TB. Bizeck called on small scale miners to always put of protective equipments such as face masks in the course of their mining to avoid TB. District Labour Officer (DLO), Edson Luchapa said his office follows issues of occupation safety standards through some individuals, small scale mining companies and lime factories fail to adhere to safety guidelines. “We have been visiting various mines and lime making companies just to make sure that employees are putting on protective gears,” he explained. He said it was wearisome that that some employers fail to adhere to safety standards at the expense of their workers’ health.  “It is sad to note that up to know some employers are not complying, the best option I thing is to prosecute so that we set the standards that we want,” Luchapa noted. He observed that some lime processing companies are within residential areas saying this health hazard need to stop. “We wrote our ministry on this and we are waiting for guidance, if they do not move, the guidelines clearly say closure should be made,” the DLO said Balaka district is one of the districts that gets funding from the World Bank to fight Tuberculosis.
 


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Rome set to release a new single ‘Anzanu’

Lilongwe, November 26, 2020. A Blantyre based musician, Rome whose real name is Happy Dumba is set to release a new song both audio and video titled ‘Anzanu’ on November 30, 2020. He told Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Wednesday in Lilongwe that the core message of the song was to remind the society to be careful on whom they put their trust in because they are the close friends and family that talks ill about their friends and pretend, they love them in the face. Rome said the other message that the song carries a warning to people who pretend to care for their friends while in reality they do not want to see them succeed. “I am releasing this song because of the rising cases of child abuse especially defilement. The song is warning parents on whom they trust with their children because some cases show that some of the perpetrators are close friends and family members. I am targeting all age groups both in rural and urban areas,” he added. Rome added that he sees a bright future in his music ministry and with God's help and his fans, he would come up with excellent songs with powerful messages. He said, “My vision is to come up with a good management team because so far, I have been doing things on my own and it has not been easy to link up with other artists. But if I have a good management team, I will be able to interact with other artists and grow in the music industry.” The Musician pointed out that Malawi has good and talented artists and if they are given proper sponsorship and support, they would have an excellent music industry. He started singing in 2015 and is working on an album to be release early next year when all is set.  


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Plan International Malawi gears to fight GBV through Artist

Innovation vital in addressing forestry challenges

SADC Troika to tackle emerging security Issues

Balaka DHO winning the fight against TB

Rome set to release a new single ‘Anzanu’

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Plan International Malawi gears to fight GBV through Artist

Plan International Malawi gears to fight GBV through Artist

Lilongwe, November 26, 2020: Plan international Malawi has said that every citizen in the country has the responsibility to fighting against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country. This Year’s theme of 16 days of activism is ...

Innovation vital in addressing forestry challenges

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Lilongwe, November 26, 2020: Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo, has said addressing forestry challenges requires innovation, resources and efforts from all stakeholders in order to ensure sustainable economic...

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Plan International Malawi gears to fight GBV through Artist

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Lilongwe, November 26, 2020: Plan international Malawi has said that every citizen in the country has the responsibility to fighting against Gender Ba...

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