In order to increase cash incomes for poor households and reduce food insecurity in Nsanje, Government has released K420, 473, 469 for the people in the District.
Nsanje District Commissioner, Rodney Simwaka, said on Wednesday that the beneficiaries will access the money through public works cash transfer labour intensive activities which include afforestation, land resource conservation as well as road and irrigation projects.
The DC said Government has adjusted wage rate for the programme from K200 to K300 per person per day and also the work period has been raised from 12 to 48 days.
“Wage rate and number of days have been increased due to the rising cost of living in the country which is as a result of devaluation of the Kwacha and fuel and forex shortages, among other reasons,” said the Nsanje DC.
He however, emphasized that the district resources would be allocated at Extension Planning Area (EPA) level following the intergovernmental Fiscal Formula which was approved by Government in 2004.
Simwaka explained that there should not be duplication of beneficiaries in public works and targeted food distribution programmes, saying that PWP aims at assisting 23,360 people in the area.
“This year’s Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report indicates that 105, 012 people in Nsanje are living below poverty line and duplication of beneficiaries would mean that others will die of hunger, therefore, let us utilize the resources we have to the intended population with good will,” he pleaded with the communities.
Simwaka advised the communities to select projects that should be feasible investment programmes as long term assets.
“The Public Works Programme beneficiaries are encouraged to form savings and investment groups that will be linked to micro financing institutions with a view to helping inhabitants expand their livelihood opportunities,” he said.
He said the programme will start as early as August 1 to reduce food insecurity and increase cash incomes for poor households in the district.
“PWP projects normally start in October or November but it has been shifted back to enable the beneficiaries make an investment so that they do not experience the same problems during the lean periods of the year,” Simwaka said.
Member of Parliament for Nsanje North, Francis Viyazyi expressed concern over MVAC report saying the findings did not marry with the problems on the ground citing an example of part of the report which indicates that Traditional Authorities Chimombo and Ndamera had no households that needed immediate assistance for survival.
“It is clear that the rains were not consistent this year, and how can someone say that there is enough food for the families?” he wondered.
He then commended the district council for combining the Agriculture assessment and MVAC reports when assisting the communities in compiling the population that needed immediate assistance.
According to the MVAC report, Nsanje, which has a population of 238, 089 has 44 percent of the inhabitants living below poverty line.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :