By Brian Wasili – Mana.
Adolescence Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (ANSA) project has been commended for its commitment towards addressing environmental and social issues for people in Mwanza District.
Mwanza District Council Environmental Desk Officer, Ida Mkwezalamba made the appraisal during orientation of District Sub Committee (DESC) members and extension workers on Friday aimed at making them knowledgeable of the tool to be used when assessing positives and negatives of the project on environmental and social safeguards in impact areas of Traditional Authorities (TAs) Nthache and Govati in the district.
“Screening environmental and social safeguards is a continuous process and crucial therefore it needs to be conducted by well trained personnel in order to come up with credible results,” Mkwezalamba who is Mwanza District Forestry Officer (DFO) said.
She said it was the Council’s expectation that an environmental and social management plan shall be formulated out of the findings in which all safeguards would be highlighted in order to address environmental and social issues in the district.
“Promoters and nutrition coordinating committees at TA and Village levels are expected to be oriented on safeguards so that they become knowledgeable on how environmental and social issues can be addressed apart from the project improving their livelihood in the communities,” the DFO added.
Mkwezalamba hailed the ANSA project for supporting the orientation meeting with resources saying this was a symbol of commitment towards addressing environmental and social issues in the district.
Community Development Assistant for Thambani Catchment Area, Kumbukani Tembo said that the workshop bridged knowledge gap that existed in the participants regarding impact assessment on environmental and social safeguards.
“The knowledge gained during this orientation will assist us to come up with impact of the project on environmental and social aspect,” she said.
The Multi billion kwacha Japanese Social Development funded project through the World Bank is aimed at addressing stunting through promotion of production and consumption of nutritious foods among the adolescent age group between ten and 19 in districts of Mwanza and Ntchisi.
About 6,000 boys and girls in the stated age group are targeted in the three year pilot phase which is being implemented by Farmers Union of Malawi.