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Chikondi Chimala

Chikondi Chimala

Thyolo, December 1: World vision Malawi Wednesday donated five Motor bikes to Thyolo District Council to ease mobility in the fight against stunting and malnutrition in the district.

World Vision is implementing support for Nutrition Improvement Component (SNIC) project in the district.

SNIC project manager, Samson Semu  said the organization appreciate the great role the council is playing in the fight against malnutrition hence need to assist in terms of transportation for officers that are directly dealing with nutrition in the district.

“We have been working together with the district council and because of that collaboration effort SNIC project here is on the right track.

“So the project felt the need to fill the gap that was there in terms of mobility in fighting malnutrition and that is the reason we are donating motorcycles today,” he said.

He therefore edged the council to use the motorcycles in SNIC related project activities.

Speaking after receiving the donation Thyolo district chairperson councilor Iddah Pemphero Jonas thanked word vision for its dedicated efforts in the fight against stunting and malnutrition in the district.

She admitted that the council is facing various challenges in the fight against malnutrition including transportation.

Pemphero said the motorcycles will ease mobility in the fight against malnutrition and stunting as most parts of Thyolo are hard to reach areas.

“In some areas it is difficult that officers can reach to people due to the topography but with the donation we will be able to reach every one where SNIC project is being implemented.

She promised that the council will utilize the motorbikes accordingly.

SNIC project is being implemented in the district mainly to deal with behavior change and misconceptions that hinder people to get nutritious foods that are found locally.

SNIC project was introduced in Thyolo in 2015 and it is scheduled to phase out in August 2017. The project is targeting lactating and pregnant women as well as children less than 2 years.

Stunting and Malnutrition is one of health challenges affecting many countries including Thyolo.

 

 

 

 

Friday, 25 September 2015 20:16

Work in groups, LADD tells farmers

Ntcheu, September 25, 2015: The Lilongwe Agriculture Development Division (LADD) has advised farmers in Ntcheu to work with associations and cooperatives for them to sell their produce in bulk and buy farm inputs at better prices.

The LADD covers Ntcheu, Dedza and Lilongwe districts.

Speaking Thursday at an agriculture fair at Chipula Primary School Ground, Deputy Programme Manager for LADD, Umdelanji Mbandambanda said the biggest problem farmers complain about is accessing markets for their produce because they operate as individuals.

“There are potential buyers of farm produce, but these buyers are interested in buying in bulk and this can only be achieved if farmers work in associations and cooperatives as they can have bargain power,” said Mbandambanda.

He advised farmers against selling all their crops, saying famers should only sell their produce if they feel they have surplus such as food to take them throughout the year.

“You should also as farmers produce both cash and commercial crops as they complement each other when the need arises,” Mbandambanda said.

He advised farmers to practise crop diversification as a climate change coping mechanism.

Earlier, Chairperson for Ntcheu District Agriculture Extension Coordinating Committee, Charles Tepeka, said his committee decided to organize the fair to provide a forum for farmers through which they could share best agricultural practices for improvement of the agriculture sector in the district.

“During such fairs, farmers interact with agro-dealers and other private agricultural service providers, including banks which provide loans to farmers,” said Tepeka.

The fair was organized by Ntcheu District Agriculture Extension Coordinating Committee with financial assistance from National Small Holder Farmers’ Association, Catholic Development Commission of Malawi of Dedza Diocese, Agora, Opportunity International Bank of Malawi, Christian Orphan Out- Reach Mission and Lipangwe Organic Manure Demonstration Farm, among others.

 

 

Sex workers - File Photo

Mangochi, September 11, 2015: Pakachere Institute of Health and Development Communication has embarked on four year linkages across the continuum of HIV services for key populations in Mangochi.

The project which is being supported by the United States Agency for International Development will apart from Mangochi also be carried out in Blantyre and Mwanza basing on their HIV prevalence rates.

At least 3,776 female sex workers will be reached through the 52 testing sessions to be conducted by the Malawi Aids Counseling and Resource Centre each year in the three participating districts.

Mangochi has been selected because it is a lakeshore district while Blantyre because of its commercial city status and Mwanza being a transit district because of the busy border to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa among others.

Speaking during a district executive committee meeting on Wednesday, Pakachere executive director, Simon Sikwese said the intervention which specifically targets female sex workers in the three districts would attempt to increase health services to the intended population.

“Under the project, we're trying to increase access to treatment and care services to female sex workers in order to improve quality of life for those found HIV positive,” Sikwese said.

Sikwese said the linkages programme would work in line with the national HIV strategic plan and the HIV strategy which aims at reaching the 90, 90, 90 target.

“You'll notice that the focus is on female sex workers because the HIV prevalence rate among such a group of people still remains high at 62 percent against the national average which is at 10.2 pecent,” he pointed out.

Sikwese said the intervention would deliberately empower female sex workers to create demand for services by working with public health facilities. He added that the project will build a good relationship between sex workers and health workers to jointly address challenges when and as they arise.

He emphasised that over and above, the project aims at building the capacity of existing health services to provide stigma free services to female sex workers using the cascade model which thrives on reach, testing, treatment and follow up to adherence to ART treatment.

“The linkages initiative works on the premise that when a person adheres to treatment, they will effectively suppress viral load thereby reducing further transmission in the process,” Sikwese said.

On this note, Sikwese said Pakachere was only following government's commitment towards HIV prevention especially among key population like transgender and female sex workers. He observed that such groups were at high risk of transmission.

“We realize that if these people were left out then the fight against HIV and Aids will not be won - HIV/Aids free generation is possible if we address all the categories of people in society,” he said.

Director of Planning and Development for Mangochi District Council, Walter Chikuni hailed Pakachere for the initiative, saying Mangochi required more HIV interventions because of its socio - cultural background and fishing activities.

Chikuni, however, asked Pakachere to consider engaging other cadres like fishermen, prisoners and truck drivers who were equally among key populations susceptible to contracting the virus as such needed to be safeguarded with HIV prevention strategies.

He, therefore, assured Pakachere that the council would provide the project the necessary support in a bid to yield better results. He also advised authorities of the organisation to periodically report to the DEC.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 19:58

Two arrested for killing 80 year old man

Mangochi, August 25, 2015: Police in Mangochi have arrested two men for allegedly killing an 80 year old man through mob justice, Malawi News Agency has learnt. 

The crime of murder, which is contrary to section 209 of the penal code attracts a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer, Rodrick Maida has identified the two suspects as Afiya Jefule, 24 and Bernard Masauko, 18 both from Matenganya village in the area of Traditional Authority Chowe in the district.

Maida told Mana on Monday that the deceased identified as Chiwonda Ajibu, 80 of the same village as the suspects had a sight problem and that on the particular night went out to relieve himself outside his house before meeting his fate.

“On Sunday, August 23 at about 2am in Matenganya village the deceased went out of his house to urinate in his birth suit. On his way back, he lost direction and was seen at the house of the two who feared that he could either be a wizard or a thief,” Maida said.

Maida said the two immediately began to assault the unsuspecting old man despite indicating that he had lost direction due to his poor sight.

He added that the old man was later taken to Chowe Police Unit where he was further referred to Chowe Health Centre where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

According to Maida this is the second case of mob justice in the month of August. Two lives have been lost.

Meanwhile, Mangochi Police Station is urging people in the district to avoid taking the law into their own hands, emphasizing that no one is above the law.

 

Chikwawa, August 17, 2015: Six people were killed in a minibus accident in Chikwawa when the front tyre of the minibus they were traveling in burst at Jombo village under chief Ngabu on Sunday evening.


Chikwawa Officer In-Charge, Assistant Commissioner, Macmillan Nyirongo confirmed the accident to the Malawi News Agency (Mana) saying the minibus whose details were yet to be identified was heading to Bangula from Blantyre.

Nyirongo added that eight other people have been seriously injured and have been referred to chikwawa district hospital where they currently receiving treatment.

The Assistant Commissioner said: “out of the dead four are women, one child and a man.”

Meanwhile, police in the district have urged all drivers to make sure that their vehicles were in good condition whenever they were travelling down to Chikwawa and they should avoid over speeding, overloading or sitting capacity at the same time calling community members to take a leading role in informing the police of any incident for a rapid response.

Chikwawa district has in the recent past experienced a spate of accidents that have killed scores of people especially at Chapananga and Makhuwira because of the unroad worthy vehicles which ferry people in the said areas.

Phalombe, June 17, 2015: The Red Cross Society of Malawi through its Emergency Appeal Operation-Recovery Stage will construct 70 houses for displaced flood victims in Phalombe District.

Speaking at the Boma Tuesday during a training workshop for 24 Volunteer Builders pulled from Phalombe, Zomba, Chikhwawa and Blantyre, Assistant Disaster Manager for Red Cross, Roster Kufandiko said the 70 houses that will be constructed will be model houses from which the community can learn how to build disaster resistant houses.

According to Kufandiko, the houses will be constructed using cement bricks made from a Makinga Brick Making Machine thereby assisting in environmental protection in the near future.

“Each house will have three bedrooms and will require at least 50 bags of cement. The total cost for a house is approximately K1.5 million and in total 200 houses will be constructed in the four districts of Phalombe, Chikhwawa, Nsanje and Blantyre,” added Kufandiko.

Commenting on the development, District Commissioner for Phalombe, Paul Kalilombe commended Red Cross for the initiative of rescuing the people that were displaced by floods in Phalombe.

Kalilombe acknowledged the problem of poor building construction being the major problem that saw over 20, 000 houses being washed away by heavy rains in the district saying the new project by Red Cross would ensure that history never repeats itself.

He urged the participants to be active in the whole training process and form relevant committees at grass-root level that would ensure their continued presence in the districts.

According to Phalombe Assistant Disaster Risk Officer, Davie Chibani, all the camps in the district were closed with the displaced people relocating to temporary shelters or living with their friends or relatives.

Currently, the Malawi Government is also in the process of implementing the Cement and Malata Subsidy Project that will see communities benefiting from low cost modern housing structures.

Hon. Patricia Kaliati, MP Officially opens the Partners RoundTable Meeting at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe-Pic. by Abel Ikiloni

 

Lilongwe, April 27, 2015: Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare with support from New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) commissioned a consultant to do a donor mapping exercise in the area of Gender Climate Change Agriculture Support Program (GCCASP).

 

This is to identify the availability of resources and the financing gaps through partners, Non-governmental Organizations and private institutions in a gender and climate change sectors.

 

Speaking at the Pre-Implementation Phase of the Malawi GCCASP – Partners Roundtable Meeting and launch of the National Platform in Lilongwe Monday, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati said the goal for the program is to empower women in agriculture and issues that mostly affects women.

 

“The program will assist in organizing women smallholder farmers and building capacity needs for strengthening resource mobilization, fund management, fundraising and advocacy, principles of determining appropriate funding,” said Kaliati.

 

She said the program seeks to increase mobilization of domestic resources towards GCCASP that will support the implementation and sustainability of the program.

 

Kaliati therefore raised a concern over men who used to leave behind their wives and children without giving them food to eat and any other supporting issues at household level.

 

In her remarks, Edna Kalima from NEPAD said the resource mobilization will improve awareness of the GCCASP among the development partners, donors and other stakeholders.

 

Edina Kalima NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency 

 

“We want to enhance partnerships with various GCCASP stakeholders including national, regional and international partners for broad support and networking,” said Kalima.

 

She said resource mobilization will develop framework for establishing NEPAD management trust (pool) fund for implementing GCCASP regional program, including Malawi GCCASP and improve lessons learning and sharing of best practices in resource mobilization among participating countries in the region.

 

The operational strategy involves establishing system/structure, identifying duties and responsibilities, role of the platform and other domestic platforms, said Kalima.

 

The GCCASP program is being funded by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) through NEPAD and being piloted by ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare together with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Lilongwe, April 20: Two Malawians have been confirmed dead in the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

Government Spokesperson who is also Minister if Information, Tourism and Culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa disclosed on Monday.

Briefing the press in Lilongwe, Nankhumwa identified one of the deceased as Adam Kaunga from Chilipa in Mangochi who has already been laid to rest.

The other victim whose body is at a mortuary in South Africa, also from Mangochi is yet to be identified.

Meanwhile six buses carrying 390 people are expected to arrive today in Blantyre where they will among others be received by Nankhumwa and Minister of Home Affairs Atupele Muluzi.

A further five buses are expected into the country Tuesday.

Nankhumwa also revealed that government is spending R100,000 per bus and that it requires 50 buses to ferry all victims now at 3200 translating to R5 million (K195, 000, 000.00).

Meanwhile government has appealed for calm and assured all foreigners and foreign owned businesses in Malawi of government protection.

"I would like to assure all foreign owned businesses, including those from South Africa, that government will provide normal security and protection as per its obligations."

On boycott of South Africa owned as it is being suggested by some quarters , Nankhumwa said 'no decision has been discussed nor made on boycott of goods and services from South Africa."

On the diplomatic front, Nankhumwa revealed that Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had gone to South Africa as part of preparations for a meeting between the two country's ministers on xenophobia.

Friday, 17 April 2015 13:07

LDT, new hope for legume farmers


Lilongwe, April 17: Legumes Development Trust (LDT), a body under the umbrella Non-Governmental Organisation African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) has embarked on a project geared towards wooing farmers to adopt new legume crop farming technologies.

The project, called Conservative Farming, which is being piloted in 12 districts nationwide, aims at persuading farmers to appropriate seed and follow new farming practices other than the accustomed to traditional ways according to LDT Project Coordinator, Tadala Rambiki.

“The project has been piloted in a select 12 districts where some lead farmers have been provided with the right seed, appropriate seed chemical and advised on what steps to follow,” explained Rambiki in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) adding, “The idea is to show them the difference between produce accumulated from their traditional farming methods and that of the new technology.”

He also explained that the lead farmers in the pilot areas, technically called Extension Planning Areas (EPAs), have been advised to work in groups for easy grasping of the new farming concepts.

“There has been positive response from the farmers so far basing on the field day visits we have had in some EPAs,” he revealed further adding; “they have fears, however, of where to market their products, a situation we are trying to put under control.”

According to the LDT coordinator, crops from the new farming methods also provide a thick spacious ground cover which conserves moisture in the soil thus having the capacity to survive dry spells.

The project, under which particular focus is on groundnuts, beans, soy and pigeon peas, is being piloted in three districts in the North and South with six in the Centre including Salima, Ntchisi, Balaka and Chitipa.


FLASHBACK: Flood victims scramble for leftovers in a pot at Bangula - File Photo

Blantyre, April 15: The SOS Children’s Village Malawi has sourced K164, 985, 900 from the Norwegian Government to enable it look after 2,000 children and their caregivers affected by the recent flood disaster.

National Director for SOS Children’s Village, Smart Namagonya disclosed this on Monday at Namilango Primary School in Blantyre during the launch of The Emergency Response Programme.

“We have secured this funding as an emergency response to support people affected with disaster as they have lost homes and crops,” said Namagonya.

Much as SOS Children’s Village works with children, Namagonya said the institution decided to also help their caretakers.

“This programme will look after 2,000 children in Malawi who have been affected by the floods. However, the disaster also spilled over to their guardians hence we will also help them out,” Namagomya said.

The programme, to run for four months, will be implemented in communities where SOS is already working in Blantyre, Mzuzu and Ngabu.

Each month, the 2,000 children and their caregivers will receive food support.

SOS Childrens Villages Malawi is a child development non-governmental organization established to build families for children in need, help them shape their own future and share development of their communities.

In Blantyre rural alone, over 18,000 households were reported to have been affected by the heavy and stormy rains, with over 12, 800 households left homeless.

SOS has already donated kitchen utensils, maize, dry fish, soya pieces and book packs for school and buckets, among others to the affected.

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