By Elijah Banda
Climate change, as characterized by dry spell, flooding, short rainfall seasons with erratic patterns, is causing a decline in food production by smallholder farmers. Further, the ever increasing national population is exerting putting pressure on natural resources. To mitigate this, on 1st October, 2017, the Development Desk of Karonga Diocese launched a project aimed at building community resilience to the effects of Climate Change and population growth.
This multimillion Kwacha ‘Karonga and Chitipa Integrated Rural Development Project’ targets communities in the areas of Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga District and Mwabulambiya, Mwenemisuku and Mwenewenya in Chitipa District. The project is being implemented with financial assistance from MISEREOR Germany.
The project will engage 2400 households to improve natural resource management, annual food production, and household income. The project will also empower 160 young people economically through informal vocation training.
Speaking during the District Executive Committee (DEC) project briefing in Chitipa, the District Commissioner for Chitipa District, Grace Chirwa, appreciated the role Karonga Diocese is playing in complementing government’s efforts in improving people’s livelihoods. She further urged the Diocese to consider more interventions that would empower unemployed youths. These, she said, if not well managed end up engaging in promiscuous behavior.
During the meeting, DEC members reviewed and technically appraised the project. They pointed out some areas which needed further consideration and possible amendment.
Addressing DEC members after the approval of the project, Development Desk Project Officer-Elijah Banda expressed a word of gratitude to the District Commissioner for tirelessly supporting Karonga Diocese’s development initiatives and DEC members for their technical input.
“I thank you all for the technical advice towards the perfection of the project. Be assured these will be taken into consideration. Since the Development Desk will also work together with relevant government sectors, then most of the concerns raised will be addressed in the actual implementation of the project.” He said.
This is a three-year project and it runs from October 2017 to September 2020 using a community approach.