The Government is rolling out a Climate Smart Enhanced Work Programme which targets over10, 000 participants from ultra-poor households in 10 districts of the country.
Pilot phase of the programme, which is set to start on April 1, is an improvement of the Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf 4), which had some flaws.
The programme will be implemented under the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC).
“What we noted under the Masaf 4 is that we were not adhering to standards and norms in terms of
the works that people were supposed to do,” NLGFC Community Driven Specialist, Stanley Chuthi, said.
He made the remarks on Thursday in Blantyre, during training for journalists and other communication experts from across the country.
Chuthi said the Masaf 4 programme failed to meet some environmental preservation standards, but the new programme will help address the issues.
“Resources that go into public works are very huge and surely we should be able to see good products on the ground,” Chuthi said.
Chief Economist in the Ministry of Finance, Bessie Msusa, said Treasury has put measures to ensure that funds in the programme reach intended beneficiaries.
She said all the beneficiaries will be paid electronically and will be required to fill log books when at work.
“The enhanced public works programme is one of the social protection programmes in Malawi, where we are looking at giving cash transfers to beneficiaries, but after they do a piece of work,” Msusa said.
She said the workers will help in creating community assets that will benefit everyone.
The pilot phase will be implemented in Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Balaka, Chiradzulu, Phalombe and Blantyre districts.
It will involve 1000 participants per district, who will be working for 12 days every month and get their pay at the end of every two months.
The programme will run for eight months with financial support from the World Bank.
Mathews Kasanda is a Journalist who has recently joined Times Group Newsroom as an Intern. He is an outstanding media practitioner and in 2014, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.