Communities from Traditional Authority (T/A) Nsanama in Machinga say they are sniffing economic empowerment thanks to a project Circle for Integrated Community Development (Cicod) is implementing in the area.
Cicod is implementing a three-year project with a K231 million (about $340 483) Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-Malawi) funding.
The project is empowering communities with income-generating initiatives that seek to take them away from practices that lead to environmental degradation and sedimentation in the Shire River.
Among the initiatives, Cicod is distributing livestock to economically empower families, teaching them good farming practices, engaging them in tree planting exercises, improving literacy and engaging men and women in joint decision-making to ensure sustainable management of natural resources.
Speaking on Tuesday during a media tour MCA-Malawi organised in Group Village Head (GVH) Nyama’s area, one of the community members, Efelo Jackson, said the coming of the project would reduce their levels of poverty.
“Previously, we were depleting forests because of poverty. But today, with Cicod giving us goats and cassava cuttings, we are upbeat that these would improve our socio-economic status and prevent environmental degradation,” she said.
Hendrex Khuleya agreed with Jackson, saying while helping conserve the environment, the project is also teaching better farming skills thereby promoting their food security.
Cicod project manager Edward Thole said the project intends to address social and gender constraints and inequalities that hinder sustainable agriculture practices and management of natural resources in communities along the Upper Shire River. n