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Archives March 2024

KARONGA DIOCESE CCJP TRAINS IT’S MONITORS AHEAD OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT BY-ELECTIONS

In the heart of democracy lies the power of choice and ensuring that democracy maintains its purpose is a task of paramount importance. On Friday 22 March, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) organized a training session at St. Mary’s parish hall aimed at fortifying the integrity of the electoral process.

Vincent Bwinga of CCJP addressing the monitors.

The Vicar General of the Karonga Diocese Monsignor Lorent Dziko was also present at the session and advised the participants stating that “there is need for the CCJP monitors to be non-partisan as the church herself is also non-partisan to ensure that the electoral process is free and fair”. He also advised them to perform only those duties that they are supposed to perform and not do things that they are not assigned.

During the training, participants were equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties effectively and they were taught the proper methodology of observation. The session also involved trainings that are meant to prepare the monitors for real-life scenarios they might encounter.

Karonga Diocese Vicar General Monsignor Lorent Dziko addressing the monitors.

One of the participants Teresa Chisenga applauded the training saying that, “it is beneficial to us as we have learnt how to be good observers and also how we can interact with other stakeholders of the electoral process”.

CCJP is deploying 44 observers in 44 Polling Centers for Tuesday 26 March Local Government by-elections in Karonga district. These by-elections are taking place in Kaporo, Chilanga and Rukuru wards and these wards were declared vacant in September 2023 after councilors from these wards were convicted.

By Noel Chatepa

KARONGA DIOCESE CADECOM AND WASAMBO DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE’S KICK OFF GROUNDBREAKING CLIMATE JUST COMMUNITIES PROJECT

In an uplifting collaboration for development, Karonga Diocese CADECOM and members of various Village Development Committee’s in Wasambo  convened on 18 March 2024 to mark the commencement of a highly anticipated Climate Just Communities Malawi Project.

VDC Members in attendance.

The meeting, held at the Wasambo Area Development Committee office at Uliwa town, saw the participation of Village Development Committee members and representatives from CADECOM. It was characterized by an atmosphere of hope and determination, underscoring the community’s readiness to engage in the transformative journey ahead.

The project, outlined by CADECOM’s field officer Chikonzero Chimwaza during the meeting, focuses on several key areas of development, including Disaster Risk Management, Livelihood Security, Water, Sanitation and Health among others. One of the highlights of the initiative is the construction of a new boreholes in selected communities, which aims to address the challenge of clean water access in some communities in Wasambo. Additionally, the project will introduce disaster preparedness and response techniques to the communities.

During the meeting, Edwin Harawa chairperson for Malongo Village Development Committee shared his optimism about the future, stating, “This project will be very beneficial to our communities as it focuses on disaster preparedness as the Wasambo area is prone to flooding and it will equip up us with skills in disaster preparedness. The project will also improve our livelihoods as it will involve the leaning of new agricultural practices and to my fellow beneficiaries it is important that we are united and participate actively in this project to ensure its success”.

The project is being implemented by Karonga Diocese CADECOM with 1.3 Billion Kwacha funding from DAI Global and will target 4,160 households in the area of T/A Wasambo, Karonga. The Karonga Diocese CADECOM will be working with the District Executive Committee, District Environmental Sub Committees and Area and Village Development Committees during the implementation of the project.

Karonga Diocese CADECOM conducts Relief Distribution to 100 families in Response to 2024 Floods
Some of the beneficiaries with their relief packages.

On the 15th of March, 2024 in a heartening response to the recurring floods that have devastated communities in Kafikisira Village in the area of T/A Kyungu, the Karonga Diocese CADECOM carried out a relief distribution exercise at Kafisikisira Health Clinic aiming to provide essential aid and support to those hardest hit by the natural disaster.

The event was graced with the presence of the Vicar General Monsignor Lorent Dziko who during the event advised the people in the area to be more prepared for flooding incidents as the area is prone to flooding and also encouraged the people to find higher grounds to settle and build resilient housing structures in order to prevent being affected by such incidents. He stressed the need for recipients to use the relief for their households and avoid selling off relief items as is the case in some instances when people have received relief.

Vicar General Monsignor Lorent Dziko speaking at the distribution exercise.

Also speaking during the event, Development Desk officer for Karonga Diocese Mr. Franklin Msiska echoed the Vicar General’s words on the misappropriation of relief and said that the church was also affected by the flooding as her congregants were among those that were affected by the flooding.

“The Karonga Diocese should be appreciated for it’s continuous efforts whenever a crisis has hit the district as the diocese is one of the stakeholders that is actively involved in implementation of various relief projects such as the recent Food Crisis Project which saw 607 beneficiaries receiving MK100,000 each” said Humphrey Magalasi a representative of the Karonga District Council who was present at the distribution exercise.

Vicar General Monsignor Lorent Dziko and Mr. Magalasi handing over stationery for learners to a representative from the zone education office.

The relief distribution exercise was made possible with funding amounting to Fourteen Million Kwacha (MK14,000,000) from Trocaire through the Episcopal Conference of Malawi. Each relief package was made up of a 25kg bag of maize flour, 2 kg beans, 2 litres cooking oil, 1 kg iodised salt, 20litre hand washing bucket, 2 tablets of washing soap, 2 bottles of waterguard, 2 mosquito repellent, 2 boxes of matches and for learners in the area ; 4 note books, 2 ball pens and 1pencil. From the funds, Ten Million Kwacha (MK10,000,000) was used to purchase relief items, the remainder is being used for sensitization campaigns on flood awareness and logistics .

Local residents have welcomed the aid with open arms and a sense of renewed hope. “It’s a relief to know that we’re not facing this alone,” shared Jessie Ngwira (54) of Kafikisira Village T/A Kyungu who’s family of six(6) lost all their food and other household items during the flooding on February 24th.

By Noel Chatepa

607 HOUSEHOLDS BENEFIT FROM KARONGA DIOCESE FOOD CRISIS PROJECT

The Vicar General of the Diocese of Karonga, Monsignor Lorent Dziko, has reiterated the commitment of the Diocese to move beyond providing spiritual support to the people entrusted to her pastoral care by addressing their holistic needs as well.

The Vicar General made these remarks at Mwenelondo Health Centre on Wednesday when he presided over the launch of once-off cash transfers to 607 households who were affected by prolonged dry spells which hit Karonga District in 2023.

Vicar General Monsignor Lorent Dziko handing over a cash disbursement to a beneficiary flanked by a representative from Mukuru.

Each of the 607 beneficiary households received a consumption cash disbursement of One Hundred Thousand Malawi Kwacha (K100,000) through Mukuru mobile wallet transfers.

Speaking after receiving the money, one of the beneficiaries from Mwakisenjere Village in the area of Senior Chief Mwirang’ombe, Mable Mkandawire (37) appreciated the intervention stating that because of the dry spells, her family only managed to harvest two 50kg bags of maize from a 3-acre field. This she said was not enough to feed her family of 7 members. She said she will use the money to buy maize and foodstuffs for the family.

Elderly beneficiaries withdrawing money from Mukuru Mobile money agents

In his remarks, Precious Kumwenda, a member of the Karonga District Disaster Response Committee advised the beneficiaries to use the funds for the intended purpose.

Speaking on behalf of the Development Desk, Deodatus Muriya emphasized stressed the need for the community leaders not to interfere or influence the beneficiaries into misappropriation of the cash packages.

The cash transfers are a part of the Karonga Diocese Food Crisis Project which is a response to the 2023 drought that affected a lot of families within the diocese and being implemented with support from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) through the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).

In the exercise, the Diocese of Karonga has distributed once-off cash assistance to 607 beneficiaries in the areas of Traditional Authorities Wasambo, Mwirang’ombe and Kyungu in Karonga District.