Mangochi district commissioner Thomas Chirwa has said 33 918 people have benefitted from this yearâ€™s Public Works Programme (PWP) in the district.
The DC said with the 50 percent increase in this yearâ€™s pay, a lot of people wanted to take part in the programme, but his office only recruited the poorest people in communities.
â€œThis year, people received higher pays. Everyone received K3 600 for 12 days of work. This will help the poor because they will only use K1 000 (about $3) for the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) and keep the rest of the money,â€ he said.
In the past, beneficiaries of the programme used to receive K200 (about $0.66) per day which they said was not enough.
This year, Mangochi district council was allocated K610 million (about $2.03m) to be disbursed in four tranches.
In the first tranche, the council got about K152 million (about $506 000) for road rehabilitation, fisheries, food security, environment and afforestation.
The money has been used to rehabilitate 314 roads, construct nine ponds and to buy fingerlings once the pond project is completed.
â€œOn environmental component, we dug 15 rubbish pits while on afforestation, we are raising seedlings and preparing holes to plant the trees.
â€œThere are 20 sites with roughly over 110 hectares where the trees will be planted,â€ said Chirwa.
On Fisp, the DC said they are tracking beneficiaries to ensure that some of them graduate from the programme.
â€œIt is frustrating to see that some people have been on the programme for many years, but their lives have not changed.
The idea is to have different people every year not the same people year in, year out. So, we want to guide them on fertiliser use and involve them in savings and businesses,â€ he said.