Ntchisi, The Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) has extended implementation of a tobacco farming risk management project in Ntchisi with an aim of further reducing the risks farmers face.
Occupational Safety and Health Project has been extended to another six months for the second phase having covered the same time frame in the first phase.
According to Project Coordinator Sam Kalimba, the project train farmers in risk management and focuses on reducing risks communities and households.
“We train them in identifying risks in their midst and how they can mitigate them. There are risks like long distances to water sources, use of dirty water for drinking and sending of children to maize mills with open belts which has caused deaths of innocent children in the district,” Kalimba said.
He said most communities live with risks which are hazardous to their lives but are incapable of addressing them due to ignorance and lack of capacity.
A number of villages in Traditional Authority Malenga benefited in the first phase by getting shallow water wells as a mitigation to water challenges.
Kalimba said, the second phase will go beyond addressing risks to do with water access.
Chairperson for Ntchisi child labour and protection committee Brian Maenje said his committee will support TAMA in ensuring that the project benefits the most vulnerable communities.
Maenje said the project will help farming communities understand the importance of safety at family level while continuing with their work in tobacco production.
He further said their committee is delighted with the project because it also has a component of addressing child labour in the tobacco sector and promised to intensify spreading messages against the problem.
“As a committee we will replicate the messages in the project in all tobacco growing areas across the district so that we rescue children who are often victims of different risks, Maenje said.
Apart from Ntchisi, the project is also being implemented in Rumphi, Zomba and Dowa districts.
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA