Ministry courts traders to invest in Balaka

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has courted investors to invest in Balaka by exploiting opportunities in mining, cotton farming, value-addition and moringa growing. Speaking during the second development and marketing fair in the district recently, the ministry’s director of planning Rex Kalilombe said the first port of call for investors and development…

Balaka water project 3 months behind schedule

The Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) says its heavy-duty borehole emergency response project to resolve the water crisis in Balaka is three months behind schedule. Speaking on Friday when the parastatal’s board of directors visited project sites in Balaka, board chairperson Luther Mambala said they are in the process of procuring electrical fittings for power…

Machinga eliminates blinding trachoma

Heart to Heart Foundation International (HtHFI) says blinding, which is rated as one of the most serious global concerns, has been eliminated in Machinga. Speaking during the last Facial-washing and Environmental Improvement (F&E) Annual Forum 2018 at Liwonde in the district on Wednesday, HtHFI country representative Boyce Nyirenda said experts set 0.02percent of the whole…

2 500 default ART in Balaka over beliefs

  Balaka District Hospital principal clinical officer Dickson Mambulu has bemoaned the high number of people who defaulted antiretroviral therapy (ART)   between June 2017 and July 2018 due to religious beliefs. In response to findings by Development Communications Trust (DCT) on religious leaders who discourage patients from taking ART, the officer said although there are…

CSOs query board on Balaka water crisis

  Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Balaka on Tuesday asked Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) offices demanding an update on efforts to ease water supply challenges in the district. Speaking after meeting  SRWB officials, Balaka CSOs chairperson Ishmael Maulidi described the pace of progress on the emergency borehole drilling works at Kapalamula and Chitseko sites…

Selling sex for water

People in Balaka, predominantly women and girls, are on the receiving end of the water scarcity to the extent of endangering their lives. Agnes Zachariah, 52, from Nkaya Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkaya, Balaka is down in the dumps. She has spent four months guarding her pregnant daughter and earned herself the position of…

Farmers advised to enhance moringa production

  Moringa Miracles Limited says it is reaching out to smallholder farmers planting moringa trees to increase production as international demand for moringa oil is growing steadily. Moringa Miracles Limited programmes manager Dave Nkhoma said due to the increase in demand, his company is engaging smallholder farmers in Balaka, Mangochi, Machinga, Nsanje and Chikwawa to…

‘Mining a health hazard in Balaka’

  Balaka district labour officer Edson Luchapa says mining in residential areas puts people at risk of contracting airborne diseases, especially tuberculosis (TB). Speaking last week in the district during integrated labour inspection conducted under World Bank-funded TB in Mines Project, he said it is sad to see that employers are ignoring labour occupational safety…

Yoneco offers free computer lessons

immoral behaviour and prepare them for the next step in their educational pursuits, Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco) in Balaka is teaching the youngsters computer basics during the school holidays. Yoneco acting district manager for Balaka Jacob Phiri said his organisation embarked on the initiative to keep the youth occupied. “We have 30 youths who…

Manerela+ for inclusive HIV and Aids fight

  Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living or Personally Affected by HIV and Aids (Manerela+) says equipping religious leaders with knowledge on sexuality can help fast-track the fight against the pandemic. Speaking on Tuesday in Balaka when the organisation briefed religious and civil society organisations (CSOs) leaders on issues related to sexuality, Manerela+ manager Harold…

Low youth HIV testing patronage worries NGO

    The Community of Saint Egidio’s Disease Relief  Excellent Advanced Means (Dream.2) has bemoaned the low number of youths going for HIV testing and counselling (HTC). Speaking recently in Balaka during the launch of National Aids Commission (NAC) funded Consolidating HIV fight through 90:90:90 Strategy, Dream.2 national director Lawrence Alumando said the youth should…

Women’s Caucus takes gender laws to communities

  Parliamentary Women’s Caucus (PWC) has said the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act should be simplified and popularised among the public to have an impact. Speaking on Monday at Nsamala Court, Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri, who is Balaka West legislator and a member of the Caucus, said sensitising the community, duty-bearers and traditional leaders would…

TB sensitisation project intensifies campaign

Balaka District tuberculosis (TB) officer Thomas Bizeki says sensitising communities to the dangers of tuberculosis (TB) in the mines can help reduce TB-related deaths in Malawi. Speaking recently when the district TB team embarked on a door-to-door information dissemination and TB screening exercise, Bizeki said most of the people engaged in small- scale artisan mining…

Balaka rated highly in maternal health

  Balaka District has emerged the best in the fight against maternal and newborn death, scooping the Malawi Government-owned Result-based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health (RBF4MNH) rewards more times than other districts. In an exclusive interview, RBF4MNH deputy director Reagan Kaluluma said the district has won 10 out of 15 cycles of RBF4MNH rewards…

Manerela+ calls for LGBTI tolerance

Religious Leaders Living or Personally Affected by HIV and Aids (Manerela+) says demystifying myths associated with homosexually could create a more tolerant society in Malawi. Speaking during an advocacy meeting on human sexuality in Salima last week Manerela+ programs officer Harold Kachepatsonga said ignorance on homosexuality has led to homophobia. “We are not saying Malawi…

Programme spends K3bn on maternal health

  A government initiative funded by Germany and Royal Norwegian governments through KfW has spent almost K3 billion in reducing maternal and newborn illnesses and deaths in Dedza, Ntcheu and Mchinji districts. Speaking in an interview recently, Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Newborn Health (RBF4MNH) deputy director Reagan Kaluluma said since 2012, the programme has constructed…