Malnutrition and stunting have become a thing of the past in Chitsulo Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwadzama in Nkhotakota following the adoption of improved agricultural and nutritional practices.
The development follows the application of the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) initiative, a European Union-funded project being implemented by Oxfam and Catholic Health Services in Lilongwe, Salima, Nkhotakota and Dowa districts.
In Nkhotakota, people from T/As Mwadzama and Malengachanzi, who benefited from the project, are now practising manure making and application, backyard gardening with various vegetables and livestock production to contribute to the nutrition of their families.
In an interview on Thursday, Sharrat Kamwendo from Chitsulo Village said her four children are now healthier as they can now access a variety of nutritious foods from her backyard garden and from their livestock which include goats and rabbits.
Oxfam Malawi livelihoods resilience manager Isaac Kuliyazi said their aim is to reduce the number of stunted and malnourished children from the current 35 percent so that parents do not spend their productive time taking such children to the hospital.
“When we started the programme, malnutrition levels were at 39 percent, but now it is down to 35 percent. Our target is to go further down to 33 percent,”he said.
According to Oxfam, about 143 000 people from 26 000 households are expected to benefit from the project which winds up late this year. n