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Future of Kalondolondo Programme uncertain

Despite registering huge success in areas of agriculture, infrastructure development, education, energy and piped water services, uncertainty hangs over the future of the award winning advocacy programme.

Speaking on the sidelines of a national interface meeting on piped water services in Malawi organized by Kalondolondo in Lilongwe recently, Ronald Mtonga, Kalondolondo Steering Committee chairperson, said Kalondolondo was a project for three institutions namely Plan Malawi, Action Aid and Congress for Non-Governmental Organizations (Congoma) and was being funded externally by the Department for International Development (DfID) through United Kingdom Aid.

“We have come to an end of the agreed funding period which was basically October, 2015 but we had to ask for an extension to cover some of these activities and the steering committee will sit down and map the way forward whether to find another donor to fund the programme so that they continue doing the same services or otherwise,” Mtonga said.

Mtonga said another option for the future of Kalondolondo was to wind up and then assimilate or co-opt the activities or outcomes coming from the programme to the three instituting partners.

He said in the approach where they would co-opt the outcomes, the activities would not be done as a consortium anymore but as individual institutions.

“Kalondolondo has been hugely successful and even the funder is satisfied the project has achieved its objectives only that it was just a project and could not continue forever or we have to find means of how to continue it,” Mtonga said.

However, Kalondolondo programme manager, Jephter Mwanza, said Kalondolondo would still be there as they have demonstrated the relevance for the programme to the whole nation.

“What is coming to an end is the Dfid funding but be rest assured Kalondolondo would still be there and would want to be a bit innovative in the new approach or find new ways of doing similar programme because there is still work to be done like in the tobacco industry and the energy sector,” Mwanza said.

Centre for Human Rights and Institute for National Social Initiative (Chinansi Foundation) executive director, Simplex Chithyola, one of the 23 civil society organizations that worked with Kalondolondo, said the programme helped quite a lot to advocate for Mpira Water Trust (Mpwat) to being paid K80 per Kilolitre by Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) from the initial K40 per Kilolitre which was not enough to meet expenses.

Kalondolondo Programme which worked with CSOs such as Youth Impact, Chinansi Foundation, Ayise, Glohomw amongst others was instituted five years ago by Plan Malawi, Congoma and Action Aid and was being funded by Dfid through UK Aid as an advocacy platform for several issues.

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