Malawi Congress Party (MCP0 Members of Parliament from Salima have said that the public works program under Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) has failed to alleviate poverty among the rural poor.
Speaking in turns on Tuesday during a briefing of the Salima District Council on the MASAF IV program, the parliamentarians Dr. Jessie Kabwila and Felix Jumbe said that as much as they welcome MASAF IV there was need to evaluate the previous MASAF programs especially the public works element to see if it has managed to reduce poverty.
First to speak on the matter was Member of Parliament for Salima Central Felix Jumbe who said managers of MASAF need to explain to the nation and show tangible results in terms of the ability of the public works program in alleviating poverty.
“It is not good that this program just continues even where we see no real results as far as ending poverty is concerned,” said Jumbe.
Jumbe said that he believes that the current set up the program is not in anyway helping to end poverty, but rather increasing poverty.
MP for Salima North West Dr. Jessie Kabwila also said that despite that MASAF projects have been around for some time hunger remains a perennial thing in Salima.
Kabwila said that Salima still needs MASAF program, but they need it in a way that it is clearly able to end poverty and not deepening it.
“The way MASAF has been implemented or designed, it is not there to ending poverty but rather deepening it,” said Kabwila.
“The current system of public works has made the ordinarily person to became more dependent on government, as it is a hand to mouth system where the beneficiaries just get the money and uses it that particular time,” said Kabwila.
On the positive note Kabwila said that she is happy the MASAF 4 is well gendered as it emphasizes on ensuring that the beneficiaries are equal in terms of gender.
“Of course it could be better if the number of women was put above 50 percent as women make more than 50 percent of the population,” said Kabwila.
Kabwila also said that she was also happy that the money which people will receive in the public works program has been increased from K300 to K480.
“Although the money is not balancing with the kwacha devaluation, but the fact that there has been this adjustment it shows that government has tried to consider the changing situation,” said Kabwila.
Commenting on the same MASAF Deputy Director for Operations Paul Chipeta said MASAF project have some areas with very tangible results that clearly show that they have positively impacted on nation development.
Chipeta said on suggestions about changing the implementation of the public works program the comments will be taken to the secretariat.
“It’s good that some people have made comments on how they think the public works element of MASAF should be done, all these suggestions will be taken for further scrutiny,” said Chipeta.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :