27 November 2020
Breaking News
James Mwale

James Mwale

Kasungu, November 13, 2020: As the Agriculture Input Programme (AIP) continues to be rocked by problems, Police in Kasungu have arrested a supervisor of Chamama Kulima Gold selling depot for allegedly offering for sale underweight bags of fertilizer.

The supervisor, identified as Kelson Chimphala, 26, was arrested after a team of officials from Ministry of Agriculture accompanied by Police visited the satellite depot.

According to Kasungu Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Harry Namwaza, the team which had carried with it a weighing scale decided to put some bags of fertilizer on the scale to find out if package was up to required standards.

“Some of the NPK bags on the scale were established to be weighing 45 Kilograms (Kgs) instead of 50 Kgs,” said Namwaza.

Meanwhile, police have instituted an inquiry into the matter to establish as to how many bags are underweight and also the number of beneficiaries affected.

Police continue to remind the public to report to police any suspicious act they may come across regarding the AIP.

Zomba, October 27, 2020: Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo has called on people in Zomba and surrounding districts to protect Zomba Mountain and forest, saying the two physical features are the main source of water for the district.

Speaking after touring hectares of forestland that was burnt a few days ago, Tembo said it was sad to note that there are some people who, up to now, do not consider forest and the environment as a basic necessity for human life.

Tembo said through mountains and forests, people have access to water for their survival; thereby, calling for intensified protection against all ill-minded persons.

“I heard about the fire and I said I must come and see for myself the extent of the damage to the forest. I am saddened to see hectares of the forest even those closer to the source of Mulunguzi River being damaged by fire,” she lamented.

“We need, as a country, to intensify protection of our forests and environment from fire and many other causes of damage,” Tembo added.

Tembo also expressed concern over the drop in water levels in Mulunguzi Dam, saying it was a clear indication of the destruction being done in the forest and the mountain at large.

Meanwhile, Tembo has directed the Department of Forestry to give part of the land to the cooperatives under the public-private-partnership arrangement for proper management.

“I noticed a great difference between the forest being managed by our department, Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) and the cooperatives.

"I believe we could protect the forest and mountain more if we invite more individuals in a form of cooperative to plant their trees on the mountain and, in that way, helping us to manage the area from damages,” she said.

Zomba Mountain Forest covers 51,164, 24 hectares at an elevation of 800 and 2080m above sea level.

Normally, the forest suffers from fires set by hunters, fire from electrical faults on power lines and fires as result of clearing fields.

According to Zomba District Forestry Officer, Amon Kabango about 50.7 hectares of forest cover were damaged by the fire, adding that the fire that destroyed the forest a few days ago was because of Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) faulty power line.

“Apart from the other challenges in managing the forest, we also don’t have adequate firefighting machines,” he said. “However, from the damaged forest, we expect some of the trees to survive.”

Lilongwe, October 14, Mana: Christ Embassy Malawi, a religious organisation under Nigeria's Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has organised a Reach Out Malawi (ROMA) symposium focusing on awareness and prevention of suicide following the country's escalating rates of suicide cases.

Christ Embassy's, Pastor Sammy Anister told journalists in Lilongwe Wednesday that the impact of the the rise in suicide cases has been highly underrated and has not been accorded the attention it deserves by respective stakeholders.

He said Malawi's future is being robbed by a raging spate of mental imbalance that has largely contributed to the rising cases of suicide.

He said: “In the last 12 twelve months official reports indicate that 183 people have committed suicide. Thats a whole crowd of people and it does not include the unreported cases that would evade the radar of official statistics as it were.

“Suicide is taking the cream of the nation, the future of the country, the strong, healthy and energetic members of our community; the youth.

"Reports indicate that 133 of the 183 (a 70 percent representation) reported cases between September last year and June this year are youth between 16 and 40 years of age. This begs asking how much potentiality we have buried away for good in the ground."

A suicide prevention expert himself, Pastor Anister, said suicides occurring in a fashion like that of the recent past become a constant downward spiral until an intervention is employed to put a stop to it.

He has since disclosed that Christ Embassy, also known as Loveworld Incorporated, embarks on a nationwide suicide prevention awareness campaign which will involve highly experienced and internationally renowned experts versed in psychosocial, science-based solutions to suicide prevention and the word of God.

He said there will only be an official launch of the campaign saying there is a lineup of follow-on activities which include massive civic education campaign to be carried out by well trained trainers.

The symposium has coincided with the Mothers' Day commemoration, taking place on 15 October, 2020, at Kamuzu Institute of Sports (KIS) and it will include distribution of educational materials like books.

There will also be free distribution of the “Rhapsody of Realities”, the church's devotional book.

Dowa October 3, 2020: One of the leading international Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), OXFAM, has donated Covid -19 preventive materials to 18 primary schools in Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Dowa district.

OXFAM is implementing a five year project complementing government efforts towards delivering social services to the communities in the district.

Speaking when he presented the donation at a function held at Kabwinja primary school, Deputy Country Director for OXFAM in Malawi, Elias Khozombwe, said the Covid -19 pandemic has affected everyone globally.

Khozombwe said OXFAM finds it of great need to interface with school leadership and students and felt the need to provide Covid -19 preventive materials.

He said the materials will facilitate the teachers to do their work while protecting them from contracting the virus in the process of project implementation.

Khozombwe also expressed hope that the donation would give confidence to the students, so that they are protected from being infected, expecting almost all students to come back and sit for examinations as well as continue with their education.

Receiving the donation, District Director of Education, Youth and Sports for Dowa, Christopher Kumikundi, said the donation is a big milestone in terms of education service provision in the district.

Kumikundi described the donation as very important and timely as schools would reopen on 7th September, 2020 under certain conditions that each school has buckets for hand washing and provision of soap to ensure sanitation and frequent hand washing by teachers and students.

’’This will go a long way in assisting all the 18 schools targeted to have enough materials to fulfill what has been made for requirements  for schools to operate,’’ said Kumikundi.

One standard 8 learner of Kabwinja primary school, Fanayi Galauza, 16, was all smiles that the donation will help prevent them from contracting the Covid -19 virus while they are writing their Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) and fellow learners that will be in class from Standard 1 -7 from 12th October, 2020.

OXFAM made a donation of hand washing equipment of 195 basins, 78 cartons of U –Fresh Soap, among others, to 18 schools under Traditional Authority Chak

 

Msungama for developed youth and sports - File photo

Lilongwe, August 20, 2020: Government has unveiled a five-point strategy that focuses on resuscitating and updating pro-youth and sports development policies that have been passive in the recent years in continued efforts to effect a pro-active youth society.

Minister of Sports and Youth, Ulemu Msungama made the disclosure in Lilongwe on Thursday where he was briefing journalists on the initiatives taken by his ministry in the past one-and-a-half months, and plans for the “nearest possible future”.

Among the points in the strategy is revival of the National Youth Policy to guide aspirations of the youths who, according to Msungama, cannot focus decisively in the absence of an updated policy.

“I understand the Youth Policy expired in 2018 and you all know as I do that this is a very key document that has to be in place as soon as yesterday. We cannot talk about youth development without a policy to guide us,” explained the minister.

He also disclosed plans to review and update the 1996 National Youth Council Act, a legal framework which he says can best support the youths’ aspirations if updated to suit the current situation.

To help bring the youth together in an environment that allows them to share ideas and learn from each other, Msungama revealed plans to construct Achinyamata Center, a place where the youths can converge and comfortably call home.

“I want to make sure the youth have their own purpose-built center where they can develop their skills,” said Msungama adding that the Achinyamata Center will be part of District Youth Centers across the districts.

He also talked of updating the obsolete National Sports Policy saying the country cannot talk of sports development without a clear guiding tool.

The Minister further talked of establishment of Sports Commercialisation Strategy to ease reliance of sports affiliates of the Council on “government subvention”.

He said: “I want to assure you that no country has developed sports by just relying on government. Sports is developed by companies and private institutions when it is run as a business and we cannot do that in Malawi currently as there is no strategy to take us there.”

He has since said he will be working with the Sports Council to make sure each affiliate has an established secretariat.

He, therefore, advised committee members running associations to have vision and dreams to develop sports.

 

Nsanje, June 25, 2018: Acting Programs Manager for Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division, Idah Mwato has advised smallholder farmers in Nsanje to use manure as one way of increasing their farm productivity without excess use of money.


Acting Program Manager for Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division, Idah Mwato gave the advice on Friday after launching the 2018 agriculture manure making campaign in Mpatsa Extension Planning Area in the area of Senior Chief Tengani in Nsanje.


Mwato said farmers under the Shire Valley ADD which comprises Nsanje and Chikwawa were particularly encouraged to take advantage of the large numbers of livestock to use their dung as manure in their gardens instead of fertilizer which is expensive for small-scale farmers.


She said manure is very essential in enriching degraded soils without any environmental negative impact thereby increasing farm produce.


“Manure is one of the ways of restoring soil fertility. We know that soils are degraded so we encourage farmers to use manure to improve the structure and nutrient content because by doing that we expect farmers to realize more yield from small pieces of land,” Mwato said.


Mwato said farmers are taught how to prepare manure through community sensitization and demonstrations through what other lead farmers were doing such that when they see how their fellow farmers were profiting they adopt the technology and apply in their fields.


In his remarks, Nsanje District Agriculture Panel Chairperson, Ringston Mafunga expressed his gratitude for the introduction of manure production in the district, saying it has improved their farm productivity and livelihoods.


“The use of manure has really improved our lives because in the past we were striving to get fertilizer which is expensive considering the status of most farmers. Manure is locally available from our livestock at no price.

All that is required is hard work for a farmer to prepare and apply in their gardens,” Mafunga said.


Mafunga, therefore, advised his fellow farmers who still cling to the old methods of farming and  neglect manure to change their mindset and start using manure for their own benefit of yielding more.


This year’s manure launch was conducted under the theme: ‘Climate smart agriculture technologies: to enhance farmers’ resilience, improve food security and nutrition.’

Friday, 22 December 2017 11:00

Mphanje PVT donates to KCH Pediatric Ward

 

Lilongwe, December 22, 2017: Inspired by the handout mood of the festive season, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of Lilongwe based Mpahnje Private School Sunday donated K250, 000 worth of items to the Pediatric ward of Kamuzu Central Hospital.

The gesture was designed to instill a giving spirit in the school’s students according to the PTA’s Chairperson, Emily Namakhwa.

“The idea was conceived by us as parents, taking advantage of the Chistmas season, to inspire our children to have a giving spirit and teach them the true meaning of Christmas which is reaching out to the needy,” explained Namakhwa.

The items donated included mattresses, sugar, soap and Seba Soya Pieces whose producing company co-supported the initiative.

The items would help to cushion challenges such as bedding and feeding of admitted patients according to Mary Msofi, Nursing Officer for KCH Pediatric Ward who received the donation on behalf of the referral hospital.

She said: “This is such a blessing and we wish more organization could emulate the gesture because there are many challenges we face here that these kinds of donations could help to cushion.”

Meanwhile, the PTA chairperson, Namakhwa has hinted that the donation was more of the beginning than the end of their charitable work saying they had, through the trip to KCH, observed more challenges than they had earlier imagined.

Peggy Mhone officially launches Area 2 Mukuru money transfer made easy branch in Lilongwe - Pic by Abel Ikiloni

Lilongwe, November 21, 2017: Mukuru, an international money transfer firm, Tuesday launched a third branch in Lilongwe in addition to its existing two in Blantyre and Mzuzu.

After the official launch of the branch, the firm’s Country Representative, Peggy Mhone, explained that the organization had grown impressively in the past five years of its operation in the country and that the expansion drive was in an effort to deliver satisfactory services to the customers.

She also explained the expansion, through opening of independent branches, was to relieve pressure from its partners like Post Office, OIBM and New Building Society who had worked as the firm’s partners in the absence of the branches.

“Business has grown impressively in the past five years we have operated in the country and this expansion is to live up to our customers’ growing demands,” explained Mhone who added that plans were in the pipeline to expand further.

Mhone disclosed plans to make the country a money sending point due to the customers’ growing pressure for the same as Malawi is currently only a money receiving end.

Meanwhile, through Mukuru services, Malawians can receive cash through the firm’s operational points from the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and Zambia.