Saturday, April 13, 2024

Malawi govt. launches food distribution exercise in Dowa

The Department of Disaster Management (DoDMA), under the auspices of the government, initiated the distribution of maize flour assistance to 132,000 individuals in Dowa on Saturday, urging the nation to reduce its reliance on rain-fed agriculture.

During the launch of the exercise in Traditional Authority (TA) Msakambewa, Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale emphasized the importance of addressing food shortages during the lean season by providing assistance to those in need.

According to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) 2023 annual report, over 4.4 million individuals are projected to face food insecurity during the 2023/2024 consumption year. The report recommends the provision of food assistance to affected populations in 28 districts and four cities across the country.

Kawale stated that in response to these challenges, the government, in collaboration with humanitarian partners and DoDMA, spearheaded the development of the 2023/2024 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Programme (LS-FIRP) to mobilize resources and coordinate humanitarian efforts effectively to address the needs of food-insecure individuals.

“As the state president said, he will not let anyone die of hunger. As such we are commencing this exercise here in Dowa to reach out to the affected,” he said.

He said it is high time the country started relying hugely on irrigation agriculture.

Kawale said government is, for this reason, allocating a lot of resources towards the development of irrigation farming to, amongst other things, resuscitate irrigation schemes and create new ones.

“We also want you to start irrigation farming in areas where there is water and moisture all year round so that you may also be able to harvest two or three times a year. As government, we are evaluating on how best to help you on this,” he said.

DoDMA Director of Preparedness and Response, Reverend Moses Chimphepo, said around 29,333 households translating to around 132,000 people have been affected in Dowa.

“Beneficiaries are receiving a 50 kilogramme bag of maize flour. As a department, will make sure we reach out to everyone who is at risk of food shortage,” he said.

Chairperson for Dowa District Council, Mayamiko Kambewa, thanked government and all implementing partners for the timely intervention for those facing hunger in the district.

Group Village Head Thotho said, as traditional leaders in the district, they are ready to dedicate land to irrigation-based initiatives.


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