Dec 14, 2017 Last Updated 3:12 PM, Dec 14, 2017
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Family planning services and health related service provision are expected to improve in Malawi’s central region district of Ntcheu.

This follows distribution of bicycles to 36 Community Based Distribution Agents (CBDA) drawn across from the district by one Family Planning Association Malawi (FPAM).

Distribution of the bicycles also comes as FPAM is implementing the Nzatonse project which seeks to provide sexual and reproductive health services to communities in the district with funding from KFW.

Speaking to Capital FM, District Manager for the organisation Saukila Sitima stated the donation comes considering the challenges the CBDA’s were facing when discharging duties in their respective areas.

“These people cover long distances to raise awareness on family planning services and other health related.

Therefore by providing them with bicycles, it will help to ease mobility challenges considering distances covered when discharging duties,” explained Sitima.

Ntcheu District Health Officer Mike Chisema commended FPAM for the gesture stating will go a long way in address gaps where health related messages were inaccessible.

“Mobility is one of important tool especially when we are visiting hard to reach areas with health related services to communities.

So the coming in of the bicycles will reduce the burden our volunteers were facing considering the distance they would cover to provide health services,” stated Chisema.

One of the beneficiaries from Traditional Authority Makwangwala Enosi Chagunda assured safety of the bicycle stating will be used for its intended purposes.

Expectations are high among communities in Ntcheu district for a sustainable improved forest management in the next years to come.

This follows signing in of forest management plans between government as well communities in the district.

Signing of the documents follows United Purpose formally Concern Universal implementation of a forest management project called Enhancing Forest Management for Sustainable Livelihoods.

The European Union and UKAID funded project targets communities from five districts of Ntcheu, Kasungu, Chitipa, Zomba and Nsanje respectively.

The idea is to improve livelihoods of forest dependent communities in targeted areas through participatory management of forest and commercialisation of forest products.

Speaking to Capital FM, Traditional Authority Mpando described the documents are beneficial to communities as it will guide them in preventing already existing forests.

He then challenged community leaders to lead by example in upholding set by-laws in a bid to sustain forest cover in the localities.

On his part Ntcheu District Commissioner Smart Gwedemula views signing of the forest management plans as the only way forest cover can be restored in the district.

“Ntcheu experiences disasters day in day out due to human practices leading to environmental degradation.

“Therefore the coming in of the by-laws by communities themselves will help in addressing such practices that have destroyed our environment,” explained Gwedemula.

A representative from United Purpose in the district Chisomo Senza-Chigona disclosed that the signed management plans will go a long way in address gaps that were leading to forest depletion in the district.

In the meantime, statics are showing that annual loss of forest in Malawi is currently estimated between 30,000 and 40, 000 hectares.

Wanton cutting down of trees, illegal timber production and charcoal production are among the causes of forest depletion besides bush fires in the southern Sub-Saharan country.

A 39 year old man in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu is to spend 12 years behind bars for defiling his 13-year-old step daughter.

The convict, Chikumbutso Mponda pleaded guilty to charges of defilement.

State prosecutor told Magistrate Court that the accused had been defiling victim since 2014 when she was only 9 years of age.

Francis Malenga disclosed the victim was threatened never to reveal the ordeal stating she will be killed. 

The state however asked for a stiffer punishment considering that the accused is a step father who was supposed to provide enough protection and support to the victim.

And in mitigation the accused plead with court for leniency stating his wife is an orphan and that he takes care of his ill grandmother.

Passing sentence, Ntcheu first grade magistrate conquered with the state hence slapping the convict with 12 year jail term. 

Chrispin Sachuluka said despite that the accused is the first offender and pleaded guilty defilement cases are on the increase though various interventions are in place to combat such cases.

He therefore slapped the accused with 12 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour so that it may serve as a deterrent to other irresponsible step fathers in the country.

The convict hails from Gobede 1 village, Traditional Authority Makwangwala in Ntcheu district. 

This judgement comes during the 16 days of activism against gender based violence which are currently being observed around the world and by various organisations in the country.

RBF Program Extended

The Results Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health (RBF4MNH) program has been extended to April next year.

This has been disclosed by representatives of the program.

Initially, the five year program was supposed to wind up in December 2017 after it started in 2012.

Speaking to Capital FM, the Programs Deputy Director reveals money amounting to MK1.7 billion has been set aside for various activities before the program phases out.

Reagan Kaluluma disclosed MK1 billion will be channeled towards infrastructure development in all the four impact districts.

"The remaining MK700 million will go towards conditional cash transfer to benefiting expectant women as well cash bonuses to health workers," Kaluluma explained.

The program is being implemented in 33 health facilities in Ntcheu, Dedza, Mchinji and Balaka.

It is aimed at contributing to the reduction of maternal and neonatal deaths in the impact districts.

This is so through provision of incentives inform of cash bonus to staff as well conditional cash transfer to expectant women in a bid to increase hospital deliveries.

Further, the program also procures medical equipment besides infrastructure development to benefiting health facilities in a bid to improve quality health care services.

Malawi government under Ministry of Health is implementing the maternal health program with financial support from Germany and Norway governments.

The Magistrate court sitting in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu has again adjourned the case of a pastor who is answering defilement charges.

Philip Palibe Ndipo of New Covenant Assemblies of God is accused of defiling a 10 year old epileptic girl at Kalindira village.

The suspect, who is on court bail, appeared before the court on Wednesday.

During the day, the state paraded its last witness to testify against the accused.

In his testimony, state witness presented to the court a medical report from Kandeu Health Centre which indicates the girl was indeed defiled.

However upon hearing testimony from both state witnesses and the accused, First Grade Magistrate Crispin Sachuluka adjourned the case to 15 of November this year.

Magistrate Sachuluka disclosed this is the day the court will continue hearing the case since the accused wanted to parade his own witness as well.

50 year old preacher is answering a case of defilement which contravenes section 138 of the Penal Code to which he has pleaded not guilty.

He was arrested in September this year by members of community before he was later handed over to the police.

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