Friday, March 27, 2009

ASAP in tireless efforts to mitigate the impact of looming hunger in Chikwawa ...distributes fifty treadle pumps to affected households in Malawi

In a move that has been described as first of its kind by both the District Commissioner (DC) and District Agricultural Development Officer (DADO) for Chikwawa, ASAP in collaboration with its developmental partner, Total Land Care (TLC) distributed treadle pumps and farm input packs to fifty community members that have been severely hit by the widespread drought in Chikwawa district. This was done with a view to helping the affected community members to start small-scale irrigation. Pictured here are ASAP Program Manager (left), Victor Katchika-Jere, receiving a truckload of treadle pumps and farm inputs from TLC´s Irrigation Specialist, Mlozi Banda.The irrigation package comprises user-friendly and modern “super money maker” treadle pumps and accessories, maize, bean, tomato and onion seed and fertilizer, and is worth US $360. In a bid to fight dependency syndrome and enhance the self-help element, ASAP distributed the irrigation packages to beneficiaries at subsidized prices and not as free handouts.
Before distributing the irrigation package ASAP in collaboration with TLC organised a two-day small-scale irrigation training for the fifty recipients. The group comprised men and women from six villages. Participants were trained in treadle pump assembling, dismantling and maintenance, plot layout and construction of canals. In the picture here, training participants brave the scorching sun to take part in a plot layout session.At the end of the two days of hard work and in-depth discussion, women participants could not help to take to the floor to celebrate their acquisition of new skill and knowledge in style. “This has been a life-changing experience. How I wish ASAP had started their activities in our communities ten years ago! Our situation would have changed for the better by now,” said Chief Chazunzika´s wife who was one of the participants to the training and is captured in this picture leading a group of dancing women.
ASAP is implementing the Chimvano pa Chuma Project (CCP), “Unity for Economic Growth” in the Chichewa language in Chikwawa. The goal of the three-year project is to enhance the socio-economic status at household level for 16,433 beneficiaries living in marginalized communities.

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