NATIONAL NEWS

Kasungu makes progress in social protection scheme

By Vincent Khonje – Mana

Kasungu district council has made progress in the Enhanced Public Works Program (EPWP) which is a new approach to the old Public Works Program (PWP), popularly known as MASAF.

According to the programs district Coordinator, Chikumbutso Liwonde, all preparatory activities for the EPWP have been completed in the district.

Liwonde said a Village Level Action Plan (VLAP) process, which is a plan developed by villagers to address specific issues or concerns of that particular village has been done and the district is now ready to go into the next stage.

“In the VLAP process, sub projects for all five catchment areas in the district have been identified. What remains is for sectors to go and verify the feasibility of the projects,

“The next activity after the sectors have verified the sub projects will be social safety nets consolidation,” said Liwonde.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Group Village Head Malangano of Traditional Authority Mwase said she was happy with the progress that has been made.

“This is a very important program which benefits a lot of people in the village so it is encouraging to see that so far, things are working properly in as far as preparations are concerned,” said GVH Malangano.

She however, said there is need for increased number of beneficiaries as most of the people are suffering and need their lives to be improved.

Meanwhile, preparatory works such as the VLAPs continued while observing Covid-19 prevention measures provided by Government. However, according to the EPWP coordinator, Stanley Chuthi, the activities will be put on hold for now.

“There is a new circular by Chief Secretary on Covid-19 preventive Measures to all Government Ministries and Councils as such we will put on hold all activities until Government advises otherwise,” said Chuthi.

The National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) started implementation of PWP under MASAF IV in 2015 and about 450,000 households in 35 councils benefitted.

Kasungu council is implementing the EPWP and has five catchment areas in Chatalala, Chankhanga, Mphazi, Katcherekhwanya and Mpherere.

Implementers of the new program and beneficiaries are positive that more will be realized in this program unlike in the previous PWP program, which among others, was marred by problems like not fully meeting the needs of the participants and having no significant support on enhanced income and food security.

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