By Leah Nyirenda, MANA
Islamic Relief Malawi is set to contribute to improved living conditions and resilience of vulnerable communities in Traditional Authority Makata in Blantyre through a project dubbed ‘Integrated Action on Protection and Livelihoods of Flood-affected Population.’
Speaking during a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting, the project’s coordinator, Hasina Ndeketa said the project will run for 18 months targeting 780 households that consist of approximately 3,900 individuals to the tune of K239 million.
The project is expected to provide communities with increased access to improved knowledge, practices in gender, social inclusion and protection.
The initiative will also provide increased access to utilisation of diversified and resilient livelihood opportunities.
“Community committee members will be trained in gender and inclusion; prevention and response to violence against women and girls. We will also support victims to access appropriate justice,” Ndeketa said.
“In the agriculture sector, we will provide 780 households with rain-fed early drought tolerant seed and fertilizer for two agricultural seasons; 390 households with irrigated seeds and 390 households with manual treadle pumps,” she added.
However, on agricultural inputs, Ndeketa emphasised that priority will be given to female- headed households and families with elderly members and those with disabilities.
According to Ndeketa, the project is meant to complement another project dubbed ‘Building Back Better,’ which started in November, 2019, in response to the aftermath of Cyclone Idai and is to end in October, 2020 in Blantyre Rural.
Project Officer for ‘Building Back Better,’ Asante Chimsale said the project was implemented to facilitate improvement of the overall well-being of the affected population by restoring their physical assets, livelihoods, socio-cultural and economic status prior to the disaster.
“We want to help survivors of the Cyclone Idai to get back on their feet by providing them with agricultural resources and services; improved personal health and hygiene such as dignity kits for women and girls.
“We will also conduct campaign awareness on water, sanitation and hygiene,” Chimsale said.
Chimsale said households would also be provided with recovery shelter and non-food items such as blankets, mattresses and sheets.
Main beneficiaries identified in the project are female and child-headed households, people living with disabilities, people with chronic illnesses and the elderly.
District Environmental Officer for Blantyre, Maxwell Mbulaje, commended Islamic Relief Malawi for the development, saying Blanytre District Council is ready to work with the organisation in coordinating activities of the intervention.
“This is a very welcome development as government alone cannot manage to reach out to every household, we need partners like you,” said Mbulaje.