Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) has embarked on a relief food aid distribution to vulnerable households in two districts of Mangochi and Balaka.
With support from the Papal Fund in Rome to the tune of K46 million, Mangochi Cadecom will reach out to over 1,500 beneficiaries in five parishes of St. Louis in Monkey Bay, Katema, Namalaka, Utale 2 and Phalula.
Each beneficiary household will receive a bag of 50 kilogrammes of maize and 5 kilogrammes of beans while households with either a pregnant or lactating mother will get an additional 5 kilogrammes of soya flour.
Speaking on Wednesday at St. Louis Parish in Monkey Bay, Mangochi during the launch of the distribution exercise, Mangochi Diocese Vicar General, Fr. Andrew Nkhata urged people to cultivate a spirit of sharing especially with the underprivileged people in society.
“What is most important is the spirit behind the act of giving…because God is sending all of us to help others who are in need. It does not have to take huge amounts of wealth but the same little we have can make a whole difference to others,” he said.
Nkhata said as a church, the Catholic community was concerned with the plight of the vulnerable, hence took into consideration the fact that a household which is food secure commands respect and contributes to national development.
He said the food aid was coming as a response to government’s call for support where both the country’s leadership declared 15 districts of the country including Mangochi disaster areas following natural disasters like floods and drought experienced in the last two growing seasons.
The Vicar General emphasized that the call for support was not based on people of Catholic religion only but all without regard to religious affiliation but all because suffering does not discriminate based on religion.
Nkhata said the reason behind the gesture was to postpone consumption of this year’s harvest to cushion the food basket. However, he warned against selling of the relief food.
He advised people to embark on irrigation to further food production and sustain food security at household levels. On the other hand, he encouraged people to take part in forest conservation through avoiding harmful bushfires, cultivating in river banks and wanton cutting down of trees.
Member of Parliament for Mangochi Monkey Bay, Ralph Jooma commended Cadecom for using a systematic beneficiary selection criterion, saying through the process the food aid would reach out to those in dire need.
“Should the selection of beneficiaries be disorderly, not only will the neediest benefit but even those illegitimate,” he cautioned.
Jooma thanked CADECOM for the food assistance assuring that as an MP for the area he would also source more resources to help those who were still facing food crisis as a result of the fall army worms that destroyed crop fields in the area.
Mangochi Diocesan Secretary for CADECOM, Pieter Nthenda said the commission which serves people in three districts of Balaka, Machinga and Mangochi emphasizes on commitment to holistic evangelization and integral development.
“Our mission is to create awareness and empower people at grass roots level to undertake development which is integral, environmentally sensitive and self–reliance through active participation,” he said.
Nthenda pointed that, “We believe that when a person attains self–sustenance they can contribute to the church, community and the nation as a whole.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :