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Illovo Spends K75million in Covid-19 Intervention Project to Support Surrounding Communities in Dwangwa, Nchalo

“This project will also help in changing underlying behaviors amongst all Illovo Sugar communities” Lekani Katandula, Illovo Sugar Malawi plc Managing Director.

15th July 2021

Katandula: This project will also help in changing underlying behaviors amongst all Illovo Sugar communities

Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc has launched a community intervention project to help with the fight against the spread of COVID- 19 in Dwangwa and Nchalo. The project aims at engaging with the communities to highlight underlying behaviours that have created resistance to adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures as well as vaccine uptake. The program will also include a communications campaign.

During the project Illovo is conducting engagement meetings with Community Leaders, School Committees, Districts Commissioners, Religious Leaders, Health Surveillance Assistants amongst others, to discuss COVID-19 measures being undertaken by the different stakeholders.

The interventions will also involve door to door activities targeting households where a survey is to be conducted to ascertain the level of understanding of COVID-19 by community members and some of they are facing as a result of the pandemic. Illovo also seeks to understand water, hygiene and sanitization factors that are closely linked to prevention of COVID-19 amongst other diseases such as Cholera, bilharzia and Diarrhea diseases.

To complement the efforts Illovo will also distribute five thousand care packages compromising of 20 litre bucket with tap and lid, face masks, soap, and COVID-19 information pamphlets. Additionally the company is working with the Ministry of Health to create messages that will be delivered through local radio’s as programs and adverts, PA system announcements, billboards and posters.

Speaking on the development, Illovo Sugar ( Malawi ) plc Managing Director, Lekani Katandula said

“As a business, we believe that for us to succeed we need the communities we operate in to be safe and healthy. COVID-19 poses a detrimental risk to the lives of not only our employees and their families but also the communities around us.”

Katandula, further added that the company has been able to manage and enforce preventive measures within its business operations but noticed that the same was not necessarily the case with the surrounding communities.

The company believes that by working with the communities through two way engagements and co-creation of community initiatives it will ensure that there is community ownership of initiatives

“ We believe that if we work together with the communities we will help in preventing the rapid spread of COVID-19 through a co-creation process that allows for the community leadership to take ownership of the initiatives uniquely relevant to their needs in addressing behavioural change”.

The project is estimated to cost the company a total of K 75 million and is targeting all Illovo Sugar Estate Villages, surrounding communities , and the grower community. Specifically it will target Dyeratu, Maseya, Bereu, Thomu, Nchalo7, Ngabu, Malayini, Miseufolo, Paiva, Sekeni and Kasinthula in Chikhwawa, and in Dwangwa the activity will take place within Dwangwa Estate, DCGL Village, Chisita, Mowe village, Vitekete Dwangwa TC, Nkhunga, Mtupi, Liwaladzi, Dema, Banga, Walemera, Ngala and Kasitu.

The company has enlisted the help of CARE Malawi to provide technical support towards execution of the project.

For more information please contact: Olive Kawelama, Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc Stake Holders Relations Manager on email: mobile +265 885319643

About Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc

The group is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and Illovo Sugar Africa Proprietary Limited (Illovo), through Sucoma Holdings Limited, holds 76% of the issued share capital with the balance of the shares being held by the public and other institutional investors. Illovo Sugar Africa is the continent’s largest sugar producer with extensive agricultural and manufacturing operations in six African countries – Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. Illovo Sugar Africa is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF), in the United Kingdom.

Illovo Malawi has developed considerable agricultural and milling assets at the Dwangwa estate situated in the mid-central region of the country at Nkhotakota and at the Nchalo Estate in the south at Chikwawa.

Both factories produce raw and refined sugar with the Nchalo factory also manufacturing value-added specialty sugars. All Illovo sugar sold into the local direct consumption market is fortified with Vitamin A to help eliminate micronutrient deficiency particularly in children less than five years of age. Illovo Sugar Malawi spends K1.1 billion for the fortification program benefitting an estimated two million people.

Illovo Malawi is one of the country’s largest single private-sector employer providing direct employment for 9 000 people permanent, seasonal and casual employees and an additional 5 000 direct and indirect contractors creating a total of 14 000 jobs. Illovo is also a major contributor to the Malawian tax authorities through direct and indirect taxes. It generates valuable foreign exchange through export sugar sales. Many local industries are dependent upon Illovo for their viability and the employment created by these businesses provides an income base for many more families than are directly employed. The company further supports an estimated 5 200 smallholder cane farmers through various smallholder schemes.

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