A non-governmental organization Find Your Feet in partnership with World Food Programme and Balaka district council has embarked on a project aimed at building community resilience for sustained food production and improved livelihoods.
Find Your Feet executive director, Chimwemwe Soko, says this is through provision of food and cash transfers in exchange for work as an incentive for creation of productive livelihood assets in the targeted communities.
Soko says the project is targeting about 16,311 households in Balaka's traditional authorities Kachenga, Nkaya, Mbera and Kalembo.
He says:- "The project has several components like risk reduction, risk reserve through village savings and loans, risk transfer, prudent risk taking, climate services, small holder agriculture market support, gender and protection."
Chief agriculture extension officer for Machinga agriculture development division Allan Kaliwo says five months into the project, communities are already improving in sectors like land resource, nutrition, crops, irrigation, forest, community development, and social welfare.
"The activities which are incentivized using cash for asset component with some complementary, are sustainable and would assist the households even in absence of the project," said Kaliwo.
WFP, DFID and USAID are supporting the project financially.
Many households in Balaka district have been food insecure the past several consecutive years due to dry-spells, floods and fall army worms among other factors.