About 150 dry spell survivors from Karonga South particularly of Lemero area have received relief maize donation from the Catholic Diocese of Karonga.
According to the Bishop’s and Pastoral Secretary of the Diocese, Father Robert Songa, the Diocese thought it wise to distribute a 50 kilogram of maize to each dry spell survivor because they see people suffering from hunger due to low crop yield which resulted from the dry spell that hit the district.
“The severe dry spell that hit the district gave us an indication that there will be hunger in the district. So as sought for financial support from people of the good will from Germany. They Church in Need responded immediately with a MK 24 million donation which we have used to buy maize which we are distributing in the Karonga and parts of Rumphi, particularly those people affected by the dry spell,” Father Songa said.
Father Songa added that the distribution of maize will be done in phases and each person will receive 50 kg bag of maize.
Father Songa has however urged people of good will to come in the district with any kind of support so that dry spell survivors should not perish due to starvation.
Commenting on the development, one of the beneficiaries Esther Kasimba commended the Diocese for the donation which she termed as timely as her family was already struggling to get food due the prolonged dry spell which hit the district in February this year.
“We are very delighted with the donation that the Diocese of Karonga is offering to us and it is my plea that everyone who has received the donation should not to sell it,” Kasimba said.
Chitipa District Council is one of the councils that have received funding for development projects under the Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD) in the 2022/2023 financial year, one of which is the newly constructed slaughterhouse. This has raises concerns among Butchery Association members in the district due to their low participation and lack of some structures at the site.
In an interview, recently, Chitipa Butchery Association Chairperson, Siasa Nyondo said the Association has had low participation during the construction of the slaughterhouse, citing that none of their members was part of the project management committee.
Nyondo explained that some structures are missing at the site such as toilets, manure bin and inside tap water. This he said has left them with unanswered questions as they are still waiting for the council to invite them for the meeting to discuss the completion of the construction.
“The council only involved us during the project’s inception meeting where they committed to include one of us in the project management committee which did not happen until we saw the newly constructed structure on our own and the council has never invited us again. We are still waiting for them to invite us,” said Nyondo.
According to former Chitipa Civil Society Organisations Network Chairperson, Sydney Simwaka the contractor finished the construction of the slaughterhouse within the construction period from 7th December, 2022 to 7th March 2023, but said he is unable to respond to why the structure is not being utilized by the people till now.
He has also urged the people in the district to have interest in the projects that are constructed using public funds and participate fully in order to promote transparency and accountability in development activities in the country.
“The construction finished within the period but the council would be in a better position to respond as to why the slaughterhouse is not being utilized because we do not know the reasons. May be we need to wait for the handover ceremony,” explained Simwaka.
In his remarks, the owner of Mazangala Building Construction, Ranson Simbeye has confirmed that the slaughterhouse’ keys were handed over to the Chitipa District Council in September this year.
Simbeye said, the construction of toilets, houses and maintenance of feeder road to the slaughter house which has a lot of potholes were not part of the contractor’s job.
“We handed over the keys and everything is in the hands of the government. According to the bill of quantity (BOQ) construction of toilets and houses at the site were not part of the contract as well as maintenance of the feeder road,” said Simbeye.
Commenting on the matter, Chitipa District Council Director of Planning and Development Jossen Tembo said the relevant committees such as the Village Development and main market committee were engaged. He has attributed delays in opening the slaughterhouse to lack of electricity, vandalism of electrical cables and maintenance of the feeder road to the site.
He added that electricity and water were part of the project budget. Currently, the council is sourcing funds for the maintenance of the feeder road so that people can start using the structure.
“There are some vendors who are concurring with the sentiments of other market users that the slaughterhouse is located very far from the market, therefore, we want to engage them to start using the structure because it is theirs.”
National Local Governance Finance Committee Board Chairperson, Richard Chapweteka declined to comment saying he has not yet visited the site.
Chitipa District slaughterhouse is constructed in Chitipa Central Constituency at Yamba Ward by Mazangala Building Construction Company to the tune of K39,550,072.00 under GESD.
*Wezzie Mwangonde is Chief News Editor for Tuntufye FM of the Diocese of Karonga. She writes this story as part of the Voices of Accountability Programme.
As one way of enhancing production and presentation of high quality programmes, Tuntufye FM Radio of the Diocese of Karonga held a staff annual seminar aimed at drilling presenters and producers with skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for effective delivery.
The development has come following this year’s annual seminar the religious media institution held on 22 December with its team members within its premises which was facilitated by Malawi Broadcast Corporation (MBC) Journalist Mr. Harnet Msukwa.
This year’s seminar which was hinged on radio production and tackled topics such as how a journalist can develop a good script, becoming an excellent producer, how to research and generate good topics for programs among others.
Speaking in an interview after a daylong meeting, Msukwa described the workshop as of great importance to the institution saying it will help TFM presenters and producers to elevate performance of duties and hailed the commitment of participants.
“I am delighted with the way Tuntufye FM members have patronized this function and I believe that they have grasped one or two things having attended the seminar. This has been such a great opportunity for them and am happy for their warm hearted hospitality,” said Msukwa.
He went on to say that it is his great belief that journalists from this religious institution will live to perform tremendously with ideas drawn from this intervention.
One of the participants Angela Mtambo said the seminar will really assist her in the discharge of her daily duties as a radio presenter since she has learnt new things from the lessons she just attended.
“I have learnt a lot from today’s seminar and I have come to realize how crucial the script is for the radio presenter and how it is supposed to be written. I would recommend that such kind of initiatives should be happening regularly,” said Mtambo.
Meanwhile, this year’s seminar was patronized by 16 participants.
Father Bernard Silungwe has asked Tuntufye FM Radio staff members to be dedicated in their work as it is God’s desire for them to be found at the radio.
Father Silungwe said this during a day-long Advent staff recollection organized by TFM to reflect on the theme “My Work Place, Gods Desire” to renew their commitment to the serve the Lord and those who listen to the Radio.
Father Silungwe further said as workers, they need not to consider their presence at Tuntufye FM as transitory, a spirit that could work against their own personal growth and professional development and the growth of the institution as a whole.
Father Silungwe further urged the staff members to be dedicated in their work and to do their very best in all their tasks.
“It is necessary for Christians to have a recollection in order to renew their commitment to the Lord. This is very helpful in your daily activities as employees, interns, and volunteers. You have to realize that your presence at the radio is God’s desire. Many would have loved to serve the radio in the positions you are holding, but they do not have that opportunity,” explained Father Silungwe.
During the retreat, Father Silungwe shared with the employees on a number of topics such as my broken self, my work place, the desire of God and unity of purpose.
In his remarks, TFM Director Innocent Nazombe, said the recollection is one way of helping staff members to recognize that they are a family and foster unity of purpose.
“We have decided to have a one day recollection for us to renew our commitment to the Lord first of all as Christians and secondly as employees at a Christian Radio Station. We need to continually rekindle our spiritual energy can we have the joy of sharing the Good news with our listeners,” said Nazombe.
One of the interns Aness Phiri, described the recollection day as portraying the spirit of togetherness as an institution without considering the position of a person because members of staff spent the day praying together.
The day long recollection took place on 21st December, which also marked four years since the radio started sending its signal.