Group Kwindimubule is in the traditional authority (T/A) Mwamvo Zomba District. Zomba is one of the districts in Malawi benefiting from Food assistance for Asset project commonly known as FFA. As a district, it has 5 T/As whereby 19,000 beneficiaries are meaningfully benefiting from this project at large. This project started in 2017 with support from USAID through World Food Program (WFP). Beneficiaries that basically participate in this project are those that are vulnerable but have capacity to work. The goal of this project is to fight against food insecurity in Malawi while at the same time reducing risks to natural disasters. The project equips people with technical skills and productive assets that will gradually enable them to meet their own food and nutrition basic needs.
Indeed, this project is improving the beneficiaries’ livelihoods as it intends to. Notably, people from Group Village Head Kwindimbule, Traditional Authority Mwambo have realized benefits particularly from forestry activities. In 2017, when this project was introduced, 1197 beneficiaries were mobilized comprising of 850 females and 347 males. Under forestry component, the community has been working hard to address the deforestation challenge whereby they resolved to grow tree seedlings and plant them later. On the other hand, they were also introduced to innovative way of getting rid of the challenges.
Concurrently, they were also taught on how they could do grafting of fruit tree seedlings and bee-keeping. Impressively, they fully understood all these interventions brought to them. As of to date, they have managed to plant trees in most important areas that are prone to soil erosion such as river banks. Moreover, they have managed to establish woodlots as well as orchards. Besides that, they also thought of beutifying their closest public institutions like churches and schools. Mostly, they have managed to plant trees that also aim at restoring the soil fertility (Mtangatanga, Keisha, grecedia to M’bawa types of trees).
“Since the introduction of FFA in 2017 we have managed to control soil erosion and restore degraded areas especially along river banks by planting trees and establishment of check dams. Other trees which add nutrients to the soil for example “Mtangatanga” and “Grecidia” were planted in Maize fields which has increased Yield” Modester Baluti, aged 35 who is a member community’s Village natural resource management committee (VNRMC) narrated.
Other members of the VNRMC committee also testified on how the fruit trees have improved their health status since some fruits act as medicine as well as source of nutrients and vitamins that improve one’s immune system. Fruit trees like Chamwamba, Paw Paw, Granadillas and grafted mangoes were planted in most household that have more benefits as stated. On top of this, some beneficiaries are also able to sale the fruits for income.
Deforestation rate has also decreased in this area since FFA ensured that both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries are given trees to plant. This has helped to the impact area to have more trees and some are even being used as firewood and for construction works. Furthermore, the introduction of energy saving stoves according to the beneficiaries interviewed helps in saving the environment. Mrs Edith Mwachande age 32 from kwindimbule village explained that before the introduction of the stoves she used to use more firewood just to cook some handful food, but now she uses little firewood.
More importantly, this project has also been providing these beneficiaries with beehives. One club that benefited from this project from the GVH is known as Thundu. It has 5 members; 3 Males & 2 females. From 2017 the club has harvested about 70 KGs of honey and they made about 300,000 Malawi Kwacha. Part of the money was used to buy bee suits while some was used to buy 10 goats for the club. The rest of the money was invested in to VSL. There are a lot of benefits that have been realized from this honey harvested. According to Mr Smart Chibwana who is one of the FFA participants from this club, besides home usage, honey is also being used as medicine as well as source of income when it is sold.