National Local Government Finance Committee community-driven development specialist Stanley Chuthi says the Social Cash Transfer Programme has transformed people’s lives in Dedza District.
He said in an interview that the programme seeks to improve household food security and school enrolment and promote the accumulation of productive household assets.
Said Chuthi: “The programme has improved the livelihoods of most vulnerable people, according to evaluation studies.
“One of the pillars of the Malawi National Social Policy is consumption support to the poor and vulnerable and the Social Cash Transfer Programme is one of the programmes aimed at addressing that need.”
Dorofina Ngwanda, a widow from Mbalame Village, Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza said she used to go to bed on an empty stomach before she became a beneficiary.
She said: “My house was almost falling. But after being enrolled on the programme, I took it as an opportunity to fix my house and my life is better off now.
“I am grateful that now I sleep in a better house and my children are in school, courtesy of funds from the programme.”
The beneficiaries are also part of a village savings and loans group and they run some small-scale businesses to increase the money they receive.
In Dedza, the programme started in 2016 with 15 750 beneficiaries.
On his part, Dedza District Council principal social welfare officer Given Mkisi said the programme has transformed most households.
He said: “Many people who had grass-thatched houses now own decent houses.
“They were struggling to find food, but now they have something to eat.”
Social Cash Transfer Programme, also known as Mtukula pa Khomo, is an unconditional transfer targeted for ultra-poor and labour-constrained households.