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Red Cross hands over K210 million programme

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The Netherlands Red Cross has hailed the people of Machinga and Balaka districts for adopting measures that can help them withstand natural disasters.

The Netherlands Red Cross Country Representative, Simon Johns, made the remarks in Machinga on Saturday when he officially left the K210 million-worth one year Integrated Food Security and Resilient Project in the hands of locals.

Red Cross Malawi has been implementing the project in the two districts.

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The response programme was necessitated by President Peter Mutharika’s declaration of a State of National Disaster following floods and drought that rendered food insufficient over 6.5 million Malawians during the 2016/17 farming season.

Among other measures, locals have embraced climate smart agriculture methods, sustainable use of natural resources and crop diversification.

“The gains on the ground are very commendable. We will present the report to all key stakeholders and we hope to find means of sustaining these gains,” he said.

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Red Cross Malawi President, Levison Changole, said the programme was targeting about 3,120 households with the aim of promoting household food security.

He added that, apart from promoting food security, other components of the programme are water, sanitation and disaster risk management.

“The project has drilled 14 boreholes in Machinga District and four in Balaka District. Five boreholes are being drilled at the moment. We have also rehabilitated a total of 35 boreholes in the two districts,” he said.

During the handover, Malawi Red Cross also donated motorised irrigation water pumps, bicycles, farm inputs and other household utensils to people of Balaka and Machinga.

“We had the intention of ensuring that people have enough food and that they also know how to preserve this food. We are very grateful to The Netherlands Foreign Affairs Ministry for supporting the initiative through our partners, Red Cross Netherlands,” he said

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