Mangochi district commissioner (DC) Thomas Chirwa has said Kalondolondo programme has contributed in enhancing transparency and accountability in executing development activities.
“Kalondolondo has proved to be a very influential strategy through which the community at large is able to express their sentiments on how the district council is executing its duties especially where essential social service delivery is concerned,” said Chirwa.
He made the sentiments recently when Kalondolondo programme through a local non-governmental organisation (NGO), Community Initiative for Self–Reliance conducted an interface meeting on the 2012/13 Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in Mangochi.
Chirwa described the Kalondolondo initiative as an important tool through which a district council would be assessed on whether it is providing best quality services to people in various socio–economic development programmes, including the farm inputs subsidy arrangement.
The DC observed that last year, Community initiative for self-reliance also conducted a review of the programme to examine how the district had implemented the programme to ensure fulfillment of government’s intention in introducing the scheme, which is attaining food security at all levels.
Chirwa attributed the success of the Fisp this year to collaboration and coordination which existed among various stakeholders, hinting at prospects of high yields in this year’s agricultural season, coupled with a good rainfall pattern.
He said, apart from the areas affected by floods, the general crop outlook looked promising.
Kalondolondo programme manager Jephter Mwanza commended the high level of commitment on the part of traditional leaders in the entire period of executing the subsidy programme.
Mwanza said the programme which is a consortium of three NGOs namely, Action Aid, Council for Non-Governmental Organisation (Congoma) and Plan Malawi strives at empowering people in the local community to participate in various development activities with emphasis on key sectors of health, education and agriculture.
“In most districts including Mangochi where Kalondolondo has its presence, there were a lot of shortcomings in Fisp, but since Kalondolondo intervened, the story is different.
“Incidents of farmers losing their money through theft, sexual abuses on the part of women and girls, are a thing of the past,” he said, adding that people now no longer sleep at farm inputs selling points.
In their contribution, senior chiefs Bwananyambi and Chimwala hailed the programme for ironing out the anomalies identified in the previous years, saying this year it has been smooth with a few cases, if any, in the process.
“We heard very few cases of anomalies which were very trivial at the same time. In short, the programme has been a huge success this year,” said Bwananyambi.
According to assistant district agricultural development officer James Chikoya, at least 87 000 farm families have benefitted from Fisp this year out of 235 000 registered farm families for the district.