Stakeholders in Mzimba have rated the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) Project as a flop in the district, despite huge sums of money pumped into the three year programme.
The district stakeholders expressed the sentiments at a week-end meeting for district child protection committee organized by GEWE Project.
District Social Welfare Officer, Grace Mvula, said the project, implemented in the district by Ecumenical Counseling Centre (ECC) has flopped as not much has been done on the ground.
Mvula said despite a lot of money going to the programme supported by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), people of traditional authorities Mzukuzuku and Mzikubola, the project’s catchment areas, have not been assisted.
She said the rise in gender-based violence recorded in her office from the two catchment areas of the project attest to the program’s failure.
“GEWE has failed and probably is the worst implemented programme among all districts which benefited in Malawi.
“We wonder how this NGO was chosen to implement this project in Mzimba because they have proven they do not have capacity and not specialized in gender issues,” said Mvula.
The DSWO also wondered why the NGO thought to work in isolation, leaving out important partners such as the Police, child protection officers in the community, and even her own office (Social Welfare).
She further observed that had implementers of the project (ECC) worked and been transparent with all partners in the district, the project would have been a success.
However, the social welfare officer commended UNFPA for selecting Mzimba District to benefit from GEWE project despite the implementation having a lot of discrepancies on the ground.
On his part, Agricultural Gender Roles extension Support Services Officer, Owen Banda, queried ECC as to why they did not involve agricultural extension development officers during a goat pass-on programme introduced in the two traditional authorities of its operation.
He said the pass-on programme did not benefit the intended needy people as it was hijacked by members of Area Development Committees ADCs, which resulted in a lot of discrepancies and complaints from community members.
However, ECC Director, Kizito Chilunga, said GEWE project has reduced gender based violence, promoted girl child education and maternal and neonatal health services as well as empowering women groups with economic initiatives among others.
GEWE project is expected to phase out in June this year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :