Mangochi, The Government of Iceland through the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) on Saturday unveiled a MK11.7 billion programme in Makanjira, Mangochi, aimed at improving livelihoods and social economic living conditions of the rural communities.
The project, Mangochi Basic Services Programme (MBSP) aims at provision and use of basic services in maternal health and family planning, primary education, water and sanitation, and community development for men, women and the youth living in rural Mangochi District.
Iceland Charge D’ Affaire to Malawi, Agusta Gisladittir, said it was in the interest of the people and government of Iceland to see lives of people in Mangochi improved for the next five years following the implementation of the Mangochi Basic Services Programme (MBSP).
We’d want to see more children being able to read and write, and we would also like to see 80 per cent of women in the district accessing good maternity services for the next five years, said Gisladittir.
She added that the government of Iceland would also want to see more women being economically empowered because being mothers; they would be able to take care of all children’s needs including supporting their education needs.
Director of Local Government and Rural Development, Charles Kalemba, who was guest of honour at the official launch of the programme, described MBSP as very unique and therefore urged Mangochi District Council secretariat and all the implementing sectors to do a good job in supporting the programme.
My appeal to the district council is that you should make sure that every penny is put to its intended use and I would also like to urge all the chiefs and communities to give this development all the support it requires, said Kalemba.
In a later interview with journalists, District Commissioner for Mangochi, Rev. Moses Chimphepo gave an assurance of the council’s capacity to handle the huge sums of money in the project and that everything would go as planned.
The DC said the local council already demonstrated its prudence in handling finances in Phase 1 of ICEIDA Programme that ran from 2012 2016 where all the funds were put into good use.
We have signed an agreement where we will be having annual audit reports to ensure that the resources are used for the intended purpose. The disbursement of funds for the next quarter will depend on what the audit report says, explained Chimphepo.
He added: Besides, for proper and easy management of the funds we have opened a separate account with government’s permission so that we account for the money properly.
The MBSP will run from 2017 2021 and its outputs include the upgrading of the Makanjira Health Centre to Emergency Obstetric and New-born Care (EmONC) facilitywhile previously built maternity facilities in various TAs will be made fully operational.
In education, the programme will develop infrastructure and services in 12 target schools located in T.As Chimwala, Jalasi, Makanjira, Mponda and Namabvi with emphasis on classrooms and textbooks for the first two grades.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres will also be established in two of the schools.
MBSP will also establish at least 500 new safe water points and further rehabilitate 180 boreholes in TAs Makanjira, Mponda, and Namabvi, according to the program me’s summary document.
It will also ensure that more than 100 villages in the target areas have been certified Open Defecation Free (ODF) through a Community Led Total Standard (CLTS) programme.
Women and youth will also be empowered with emphasis on access to literacy and skills training.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA