Makhanga Islanders cry for relief aid – Capital Radio Malawi
21 July, 2024

Makhanga Islanders cry for relief aid

18-month-old Chifundo lost his mom to illness when he was just two weeks old.  Now he lives with his grandmother Mangalita and his three older siblings, Graciano (14), Kevin (9) and Emily (5). Three months after birth, Chifundo developed malnutrition and was enrolled in WFP’s Supplementary Feeding Programme. In January 2019, his grandmother’s house collapsed because of heavy rains, injuring her and Chifundo. She has not been able to walk without crutches since. Because of her condition, it is Chifundo’s uncle Wyson (who lives a kilometre away) who took him to the health centre and collect his WFP nutritious flour/corn-soya blend (CSB+/Super Cereal Plus). With COVID-19, finding casual labour has become increasingly difficult and since Chifundo’s grandmother is too frail to farm the land, they rely mostly on the kindness of family and neighbours to survive. 
  “Chifundo ‘s mother passed away from illness when Chifundo was only 2 weeks. She left 4 orphans,” says Chidundo’s uncle Wyson, “When I came to visit them, I was very shocked - [Chifundo] was bony, I was scared we would lose him too. […] The nutritious flour [CSB+] has worked wonders, he can now stand up and walk.” Note: due to lack of funding, the WFP Supplementary Feeding Programme Chifundo benefited from (MAM treatment) has been phased out, which means he will not be receiving rations past September 2020. Chifundo and his family will however continue to benefit from WFP malnutrition prevention support through information/awareness-raising sessions. Malawi has had consistently poor health and nutrition indicators for children under five years of age. Only 15% of children under the age of five consume a minimum acceptable diet. Stunting remains very high at 37.1%, while the prevalence of wasting has been relatively low, there is always the susceptibility due to recurrent shocks, especially during the lean season.    Childhood malnutrition in Malawi is perpetuated t

Community leaders on Makhanga Island in Nsanje district , are issuing a desperate appeal to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs-DODMA to expedite distribution of relief items.

DODMA is distributing maize under the Lean Season Response Programme.
The plea comes as the Islanders are yet to receive relief maize, three months after DODMA rolled out the humanitarian initiative.

Group Village Head Makwalo and Nkolimbo claimed their subjects are yet to be reached with relief maize being distributed by DoDMA under the program.

The two traditional leaders reveal that food insecurity challenges have worsen at Makhanga island forcing residents to consume water lilies locally known as Nyika.

They have since called on the authorities to hasten distribution of the relief food to the households on the island.

In an interview with Capital FM, Acting DoDMA Relief and Rehabilitation Officer for Nsanje Patrick Spuni acknowledged the concerns raised by the chiefs and attributed them to logistical challenges rocking the relief maize transportation.

He disclosed that the council is receiving small consignments from DoDMA being transported from Lilongwe meant for distribution in the area of Chief authority Mulolo.

Spuni attributed some of the delays and  transportation challenges to poor road network, citing the section at Ruo on the stretch from Fatima to Makhanga is impassable.

Meanwhile, they have managed to reach 2700 households, out of the targeted 5114 households in the area.

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