Three NGOs in Malawi have launched a community based empowerment project in a bid to alleviate the adverse effects of climate change in the southern Africa nation.
The mission is being implemented in the district of Karonga, located some 554 km north of the capital, Lilongwe.
The National Youth Network on Climate Change (NYNCC), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and Word Faith have together embarked on the campaign funded by Global Green Fund (GGF).
The yearlong project will mainly focus on community and youth participation in the extractive industry and climate change mitigation.
Speaking to Capital FM, the programme manager of the project, said the organisations will engage community members to empower young people and women so that they take leading roles in the society.
Dominic Nyasulu went on further to say that Karonga is basically one of the districts that are badly affected by mining companies which are involved in the extraction of different minerals.
Furthermore, it is also one of the districts that are usually hit by floods due to environmental degradation and climate change.
In addition, the project’s quest is to enlighten locals on how they can address the impacts of climate change that directly affect them.
The youth and women are reported to be the most vulnerable to climate change hence the need for them to be empowered
According to Nyasulu the project is inventing small initiatives like conservation agriculture and tree planting.
This is done with the use of various structures such as community based organisations (CBOs), clubs in and outside schools where youths can be coordinated and come together to respond to the challenge supported by district structures.
Malawi has this year experienced drought and flooding which are said to be some of the effects of climate change.
Stakeholders in Malawi say they are impressed with the completion of a Primary Justice (PJ) project which sought to condense the state of narrow-mindedness among local communities.
The Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) has collaborated with the Government of Malawi (GoM) in distributing exotic and indigenous tree seedlings to communities in Karonga to replenish the environment.
The Roman Catholic Church is implementing a project in Malawi to empower locals in the fight against Tuberculosis, a major killer in the southern Africa nation.
Self acclaimed leader of the People’s Land Organisation (PLO), Vincent Wandale has been handed a suspended sentence by the Blantyre Magistrates court.
He was convicted last week on charges of unauthorised use of land, conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, and criminal trespassing.
Passing the sentence, Senior resident Magistrate Thokozani Soko told the court that the sentence is to deter others who may want to commit similar offenses.
The judge added that Wandale’s actions and members of his PLO have the potential to bring chaos in the country if everyone having such grievances were to take the same route.
Soko has given Wandale ten months conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, twenty-four months for unauthorized use of land and criminal trespassing attracted a sentence of one month.
The sentence has been suspended for 18 months but should Wandale commit any crime in that period then the sentence will stand and he will be charged.
Lawyer for the PLO leader says their next action is to appeal against the conviction and sentencing before this week ends.
Micheal Goba Chipeta went on to say that there are some errors that need to be corrected by the court.
Representatives of private media houses in the country are taking a bold stand following their deteriorating relationship with the Malawi president.
It comes against a background of counter-criticisms on the health of Peter Mutharika after he took a long and unexplained stay in the USA.
He had gone there to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
His absence and official silence on his well-being triggered negative speculation on social media and sections of the press.
Together with their umbrella organisations, the Media Council of Malawi and the National Media Institute of Southern Africa -NAMISA, private media houses have issued a statement, referred to as The Mount Soche Declaration.
Signed by various media houses the declaration captures their concerns and possible steps that would be taken in light of the souring relationship with Capitol Hill.
According to deputy chairperson of NAMISA, the declaration has been made with the support of Media Council, NAMISA and media owners.
Yvonne Sundu says the public will be receiving limited information on the government through state owned broadcasters.
But she was quick to point out that those who follow private media houses should expect a blackout of news on the head of state and cabinet ministers.
NAMISA is certain that the blackout is a good portrayal on their fury following the president’s attacks on the media.
They have also threatened to boycott press conferences by the president arguing that they not for the press but rallies which usually end up getting politicized.
In his recent outings the Malawi leader has been name dropping on what he terms as media houses which are doing nothing more but feeding Malawians with bogus information.
Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is being cautioned to avoid using public funds in its resource mobilization drive.
The word of caution is coming from a Zomba based Political Commentator.
It follows last Friday’s fundraising dinner and dance held by the party at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
This is not the first time the party has held such events.
Critics are pointing out that the fundraiser was ill timed, considering the country’s socio-economic challenges.
They also express fear that the party might, in the process, end up abusing tax payers’ money.
Commenting on the issue, a Political science lecturer at the Chancellor College Boniface Dulani says the party needs to tread carefully.
“To the extent that the DPP is finding these innovative solutions to fundraise, that is commendable.”
“Of course the timing is awful because we are going through economic difficulties and the hunger situation.”
On fears of taxpayers being abused through such events, Dulani says “whether they hold dinner and dance or not, there will still be abuse of public funds.”
“There will be no difference at all even if they don’t hold these functions”
The DPP’s First Vice President for the South George Chaponda however claims apart from mobilizing resources, such events mean a lot to the party, as they also demonstrate unity within the party.
“People have been saying there are divisions in the party, but you saw we were all one united. People from all the regions participated”
The DPP is yet to announce how much was realised from the dinner and dance.