Communities from Traditional Authority (T/A) Chowe in Mangochi have been commended for the commitment and enthusiasm they have displayed towards a gender project which the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in conjunction with the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) is implementing in the area.
MCA injected K190 Million to CCJP to implement a three-year gender project in the area – Lingamasa, with the aim of addressing environmental problems that culminate in sedimentation in the Shire River Basin and chokes the performance of ESCOM’s hydropower facilities.
The project seeks to increase hydro power generation by way of empowering women through different initiatives such as economically empower women through business & marketing skills, engaging men and women in joint decision making to ensure sustainable management of natural resources, capacitate women in leadership position and improve their literacy levels.
Speaking during the field visit on Friday to monitor and appreciate progress of the project, MCA Social and Gender Assessment Director, Olivia Mchaju Liwewe said she was impressed with the commitment and keenness of the people towards the project.
“I decided to visit some of the forest areas and orchards which are benefiting from this project to appreciate communities’ participation and their commitment but I am really overwhelmed with their vigor,” said Liwewe.
Added Liwewe: “Before I came here I didn’t expect to find people to have been created forests, orchards, set groups and are more willing to plant more trees. This is good. It also shows that CCJP did a lot in terms of community mobilization.”
She said people’s commitment and participation in conserving the environment is what is needed in the wake of climate shocks.
Liwewe, however, encouraged the communities to continue working hard, saying the initiative will definitely restore natural world and address environmental problems.”
On his part, CCJP Diocesan Secretary for Mangochi Diocese, Bruno Banda said natural forests are being depleted in the country at an alarming rate because of communities’ poverty and lack of awareness.
Banda said it is against this background that his organization in conjunction with Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to implement a gender project in the district aimed at economically empowering rural communities to ensure sustainable management of natural resources.