Jul 19, 2018 Last Updated 10:40 AM, Jul 19, 2018

A US based private bank, HSBC has pledged to provide $100 Billion in financing and investment to all developing countries by 2025 to help combat climate change.

The pledge follows the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP) 23 which is under way in Bonn, Germany where nations including Malawi are negotiating for greater investments in projects that will help combat climate change.

Malawi being a member of the Least Developing Countries is making deliberate efforts in negotiating for big projects that will bring change to nations to through COP23.

Malawi’s Chief Environmental Officer in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Evans Njewa told the Malawi News Agency in Germany that the pledge has come at the right time as Malawi is struggling to deal with extreme weather events such as floods and drought.

The HSBC pledge will involve direct lending, bonds and project finance, alongside new products in asset management.

HSBC Bank plc is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC's international network comprises around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.

Fifty people have been awarded certificates of attendance in early childhood development.

They were awarded with certificates after successfully going through a 14-day basic course on a Malawi Early Childhood Development (ECD) training manual.

The training, arranged by the Evangelical association of Malawi (EAM) was funded by the Norwegian Church Aid. 

According to officials from the association, through such trainings service delivery in areas of early childhood development in Malawi can greatly improve.

They believe that although there are nearly 20,000 child caregivers and over 300 Community Based Child Care Centres (CBCCCs) in the country, the 50 that have recently graduated will have a huge impact wherever they go.

Speaking to Capital FM Atupele Mwalweni, who is an ECD Trainer, said that sometimes it is difficult to improve the early childhood sector due to a lack of transparency by some organisations which fail to be transparent when they receive funding from various donors.

The trainer stressed that this is one of the things that is making donors to shun Malawian organisations in terms of funding.

Speaking during the presentation ceremony Director of Planning and Development for Karonga District Council, David Kayiwonanga Gondwe disclosed that there is a need for nongovernmental organisations to utilise funds they receive from donors so that Malawians benefit as well.

The Director further revealed that the Council is planning on joining forces with the EAM through the office of the district social welfare to provide expertise on the same.

Training modules consisted of child development, working with physically challenged children, child milestones assessment, child rights protection, nutrition, food security, hygiene.

To add on that it also consisted of psychosocial support, making care resource mobilisation, community development, creating a learning community and gender mainstreaming in ECD services.

Phase one of the much anticipated Tsagano-Neno-Mwanza earth road project upgrading is expected to cost Malawi government over MK5 billion.

The road will be upgraded from its current earth status to bitumen road.

For decades road users had had challenges using the 140 kilometre road especially in the rainy season as it had been in earth form.

Government has assigned Malawi Defence Force’s Engineers Battalion to carry out the works with first phase covering 21 Kilometers.

The yet to be upgraded distance will stretch from Tsangano Turn-Off in Ntcheu district up to Kambilonjo trading center in the district.

Speaking to Capital FM, Minister of Transport and Public Works concedes of mobility challenges among road users on the road due to its current condition.

Jappie Mhango assured people that government is now ready and determined to construct the road so as to ease the challenges.

“It has been long overdue for this project to materialize but this time around as government the funds are available for construction of the first phase.

“And we believe the undersigned contractor (MDF Engineers Battalion) will carry out the work accordingly and with good standards,” explained Mhango.

The whole road project upgrade is however expected to be completed in four years with the first phase lasting approximately over a year.

On his part a Traditional leader for the area the road passes reaveled the suffering people had had to endure over the past years.

Traditional Authority Mpando of Ntcheu said, “We experience high transportation costs when transporting our farm produce to various destinations considering that most of our people are smallholder farmers.”

The Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza earth road connects the districts of Ntcheu, Neno and Mwanza respectively.

When completed, high transportation cost faced by people using the road will be reduced beside socioeconomic growth among communities living around the area.

However, Ntcheu and its two sister districts of Neno and Mwanza will also see a boost in infrastructure development as potential investors will be able to visit the area with good road network connecting the districts.

Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation  has teamed up with Ofo, a Beijing-based bike-share initiative, to help young girls in Malawi get to school.

"I'm so happy about the Clara Lionel Foundation's new partnership with ofo because it will help so many young people around the world receive a quality education, and also help the young girls of Malawi get to school safely, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone," Rihanna said in a statement. 

The “1 KM Action” partnership has already sent its first set of bikes to Malawi and it will also fund scholarships for these female students through Rihanna's Global Scholarship Program.

Although 4.6 million children attend primary school in Malawi, only 8 percent complete secondary school. More girls drop out than boys due to a number of issues, transportation being one of them.

"We are delighted to work with Rihanna and the Clara Lionel Foundation on this innovative initiative as we are keen to help improve education accessibility for students living in poverty," ofo founder and CEO Dai Wei said in Tuesday's press release. “We believe in unlocking every corner in the world with equal access to education as well as with our bike-sharing scheme."

Rihanna visited Malawi earlier this year with the Global Partnership for Education in order to speak with students, educators, and government officials about the best way to "build a better educational future for Malawians."

In a previously released video, Rihanna shared footage of her trip and spoke about the experience. "It's such a pity that they have to drop out, because they are so smart," she said. "Everybody's learning together and learning at the same pace, it seems. It's sad that has to end for some of them, because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete."

Providing young girls with a way to get to school quickly and safely is definitely a step in the right direction.

Members of the public are being encouraged to be development minded in a bid to sustain development in respective areas.

The sentiments follow a donation of iron sheets and bags of cement to Livalo primary school in Malawi’s central region district of Ntcheu by a former student.

Mathias Chatuluka who used to be a student at the primary school has used money over MK200, 000 to purchase materials required for construction.

The materials are expected to be used in constructing the schools headmaster’s office block.

Speaking to Capital FM, Chatuluka pointed out that development cannot happen if citizens are not giving back to the community they belong to. 

He stressed that the citizenry should be in the forefront in developing their respective areas and not wait for donors.

"We are a change in development hence the need for us to be proactive in giving out to respective communities.

I am appealing to all bona-fide citizens of this village to come forward in developing the school and the area at large," explained Chatuluka.

Headmaster for the school hailed the donation stating will go a long way in address the current situation whereby the current block is small and dilapidated.

Dickson Kufankomwe then assured safety of the donated building materials stating will be used for intended purpose.

He therefore appealed for more support since the schools has also inadequate classroom blocks considering the huge number of learners enrolled at the school.

"At the moment we have over 1,200 learners enrolled at the school but the classroom blocks are not enough to accommodate them.

Therefore we ask people of goodwill to come a forth to help in address some of these challenges at the school, "He lamented.

Livalo primary school which has classes from standard 1 to 8 was established in 1967.

The school serves pupils from over 10 surrounding villages all under Senior chief Makwangwala in Ntcheu district. 

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