JTI commits to improvement of livelihoods in Mzimba and beyond

Communities from the Traditional Authority (T/A) Mtwalo in Mzimba have commended Japanese Tobacco Company (JTI) for implementing various safety net programmes, which have contributed to the improvement of their social and economic livelihoods.

Among others, JTI has installed a solar powered irrigation system in the area of Village Headman Chunga. The solar system is benefiting Kaombe Irrigation Club members and their immediate family members.

The company has also built a health centre where thousands of people from Madise Village are accessing quality healthcare services.

Speaking in random interviews, the communities confessed that the projects have had a direct impact on their lives.

They said with the solar power in place, smallholder farmers have now ventured in irrigation farming to supplement their food requirements and income.

Some farmers interviewed said they are now growing crops twice in a year giving them extra cash in time of need. The farmers commend JTI for providing them with a solar powered irrigation system.

“We are able to grow crops twice a year. These crops give us extra cash. So we are grateful to JTI for this,” said a farmer who only identified himself as Mr Chunga.

JTI has further installed solar powered electricity water and electricity at Madise Village.

Speaking while commending JTI, Mulumuzana Maedise said JTI is indeed a friend indeed. The chief said prior to the clinic people in his area were walking long distances to access medical care.

In an interview, JTI Corporate and communication affairs Manager, Limbani Kakhome said the projects implemented in the area of Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba on access to water, village clinic and electricity is a response to programmability records which indicated that people of Mtwalo are experiencing challenges to access water electricity and health services.

Kakhome said the projects are budgeted as part of social corporate responsibilities. He said boreholes are increasing access to safe water for up to 8,000 people.

He said JTI has built 16 Village Clinics reducing the distance to health service from 14 km to an average of five kilometres for up to 80, 000 people.

As that is not enough JTI has built 30 classroom blocks in 8 schools creating additional 1,700 learning spaces.

“We have installed 19 solar powered water systems increasing the opportunity for crop diversification for up to 1, 500 people,” He said.

He said that JTI Company values people who work with the company.

“What JTI is doing is in line with various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). For example SDGs number 6 is about “clean water and sanitation for all”. It is one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the official wording is: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” he said.

“Water is essential for unlocking economic growth and productivity, and provides significant leverage for existing investments in health and education,” he added.

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