Communities in Nsanje, a flood-prone district, have started constructing durable houses to reduce their vulnerability to natural disasters.
This was observed on Tuesday during a media tour in the district to appreciate how the Social Cash Transfer Programme being implemented by the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare is impacting lives of people in the district.
About K3.8 million has been disbursed to 5 000 people deemed to be living in ultra-poor conditions.
In an interview, Nsanje district commissioner Dauglas Moffat said most beneficiaries were those affected by Cyclone Idai, which hit the country in early 2019.
He said: “Most of these people lost property during that disaster, but I am happy that through this initiative, they are building back their lives and are utilising the little resources they are getting to construct durable houses.”
Moffat said according to the latest Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report, about 15 000 people in Nsanje are living in poverty; hence, the need for such programmes.
“Each beneficiary is getting about K65 000 after every two months, and apart from constructing durable houses, they are buying food, farm inputs and paying school fees for their children,” he said.
A beneficiary, Elise Lota from Meja Village in Traditional Authority Mbenje in Nsanje, said she invests the money in small-scale businesses and community savings and loans groups.
The European Union and the German Government have been bankrolling the programme in Nsanje, Mulanje, Neno, Machinga, Mangochi and Phalombe.