Friday, November 23, 2012

DFID, Malawi Government applauds ADRA Malawi

By Hastings Lacha and Elias Banda

The British Department for International Development (DIFD) Mission and the Malawi Government have applauded ADRA Malawi   for rolling out food aid efforts in Phalombe District which is under  the Vulnerability Assessment Committee ( MVAC)  targeted food distribution program.
The team addresses beneficiaries

On November 7 this year,  a team comprising DFID, World Food Program (WFP), Malawi Government Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) visited Mileme and Namanjelema in the district where over 12000 households are targeted for the food aid program.

Between March and April this year, the MVAC report indicated that an estimated 1.6 million people in the country needed food assistance for the 2012/2013 consumption period. And in July this year, the World Food Program WFP declared the food situation in the country as serious, prompting the Emergency Food Aid Program JEFAP consortium to step up efforts with the assistance from Malawi Government and DFID for emergency food program in the affected areas. ADRA Malawi belongs to the JEFAP consortium, which was formed in 2002.
The team inspecting the warehouse

Phalombe is one of the districts that hit by the hunger situation among other areas in the Southern Malawi due to recurrent dry spells and floods during the 2011/2012 agriculture season. 

It was against this background that ADRA Malawi began the operations in Phalombe, targeting 12, 760 households who are receiving a food basket each per month. The basket comprises a 50kg of cereal, 5kg of corn soya blend and 10kg of pulses. The project started in October 2012 and ends in March next year.

The team had good time with individual beneficiaries

The delegation that visited Phalombe included Sara Sanyahumbi, DFID Head Malawi Office, Jeffrey Kanyinnji Principal Secretary DODMA, Button Osman Deputy Country Director WFP Malawi and Fumukazi Munthali, Social and Development Advisor (DFID).   

Sarah Sanyahumbi was quoted in the local media (Daily Times) as saying that her organization is closely working with other agencies to ensure that people are food secure in the country.  And Jeffrey kanyinji said in the same media that his department is putting in place long term efforts to cushion vulnerable communities. He cited irrigation and planting of drought resistant crops as some of the measures.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ADRA Malawi set to mainstream KM

By Elias Banda
ADRA Malawi is now set to mainstream knowledgemanagement systems after staffs, drawn from different projects went through a week- long Knowledge management training. The training also drew participants from other ADRA offices from Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.
The training took place at Ufulu Gardens in the Capital Lilongwe from 12 -16 November 2012.  The objective of the training was to equip staff how to create, share, store and utilize information in the organization.  Participants learnt that KM processes required an enabling environment in the organization for tacit knowledge to be effectively generated and shared among employees. The training was facilitated by the Malawian based HCDM consultants.
The training ended a mandate that each ADRA office develop an action plan to establish the KM systems. Speaking when closing, HCDM Lead Consultant Booker Matanvu urged participants to make use of the knowledge gained to establish KM systems and that his organization  would be available to offer support when ever need arises.
KM participants pose for photograph after the training
Lise Grauenkaer, ADRA Denmark Program Coordinator described the training as historic because it brought together several countries that implement the Action for Social Change Program. She pointed out on the need to have a follow on the training.
ADRA Malawi Country Director, Claudio Sandoval  said the training was a blessing to ADRA and that participants should utilize the knowledge acquired effectively and efficiently.  He said that people work in ADRA in order to change others and that the knowledge acquired should be used to make a difference on other people. He thanked ADRA Denmark for the support rendered for the success of the training.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The power of community voice

 By Redson Damalekani

Empowering and building the capacity of community Based Groups is the key to positive social change as demonstrated by Mwawihe-Mgumera Radio Listeners’ Club (RLC),  one of the Community Based Group in T/A Juma  in  Mulanje District.
Community members around Mgumera-Mwawihe have been facing problems to cross Nkokanguwo River  during rainy season because the bridge was washed away many years ago and  school children at Mgumera Primary School had to abandon school because they could not cross the flooded river.  Local farmers who sell their farm produce at Nkando market were also  affected as they could not take their farm produce to key market places, impacting on their economic sustainability.

The dry part of Nkokanguwo River
Community members approached the Member of Parliament for the area in 2010 who responded by sending a contractor to construct a bridge with funds from the District Assembly. The project was however suspended at the early stages of construction and reasons for suspension were not clearly known to the community, raising community anger and suspicion. 
When the Mwawihe-Mgumera Radio Listeners Club was formed and trained by ADRA Malawi, it raised the Nkokanguwo Bridge as the priority advocacy issue for the radio programming. When news did the rounds that the issues was going on Zatonse Radio Program, the contractor started working on the bridge. 
The bridge out look after advocacy campaigns
During radio programing local authorities were interviewed on the progress of the bridge and they hinted that the project would be completed soon.  
The contractor said that the project was stopped due to lack of construction materials. He said however that the materials were purchased and work was in progress.
 The Communication for Social Program has empowered the Radio listeners club in the area with skills to identify and discuss advocacy issues before producing radio programs. When interviewed people in the area expressed happiness with progress of  work on the bridge.  
The bridge connects areas between Nkando and Namphungo. The Action for Social Change Program with support from Denmark is empowering communities in the area to advocate for issues affecting them.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

LL farmers association raise funds for seeds

By Baxter Chilombo

Kan’goma  Farmers Association in Traditional Authority Tsabango in Lilongwe has raised K460, 000/ $1673 for procurement of certified seeds in order to maximise production of soy beans and groundnuts.

From time immemorial, farmers in Tsabango Area have been planting recycled seeds, resulting into declined yields.

Speaking in an interview, members of the association expressed optimism that the shift from use of recycled seeds to certified ones would bring positiv
Kan'goma Farmers Association in session
e results especially on soy beans and groundnuts.

The association comprise 23 farmer clubs which have merged to form a larger grouping that would represent farmers and negotiate for better prices with public and private actors in the food security sector.

ADRA Malawi through the Action for Social Change Program has facilitated formation of 23 farmer clubs in the targeted village communities.

ADRA Malawi also provided technical support,  leading to the formation of the association.

This year, ADRA Malawi has linked Kan’goma Farmer Association to Mfunwe Seed Company in Lilongwe which has already agreed to sell the seeds at a reduced price. This development has boasted farmers interest and confidence to grow more seeds in the 2012/2013 agricultural season.

The association plan to use to use 22.7 hectors of land for soy beans and 17.6 hectors for groundnuts.

The Action for Social Change Program is being supported by Denmark to bring about individual and society change in Lilongwe, Mzuzu/Mzimba, Machinga and Mulanje.