Dedza Traditional Leaders Ask Gvt To Re-Introduce Public Works

Senior Chief Kachindamoto; Public works programme was helping the poorest villagers Senior Chief Kachindamoto; Public works programme was helping the poorest villagers

Traditional Leaders in Dedza have asked government to invest more in social protection programs and to re-introduce public works programme that was suspended.

Senior Chief Kachindamoto told Zodiak Online that villagers spend a week without money in their pockets to buy basic needs and the public works programme was helping the poorest villagers hence calling government to bring it back.

"We are pleading with government to consider raising the amount of money that people receive for social cash transfer from K6000 to K20 thousand kwacha," said Kachindamoto.

Early this week, Outreach Scont Foundation with funding from International Labour Organisation organised an interface meeting with Chiefs in Dedza to know their level of understanding regarding social protection programs.

During the interface meeting, Senior Chiefs Kachindamoto and over 30 chiefs in his area said life is unbearable in villages since the public works programme was suspended and they want more social protection programs for their people.

Senior Chief Kachindamoto asked government to also consider the re-introduction of public works and raise the amount of money villagers receive for social cash transfer and increase the number of beneficiaries.

Executive Director of Outreach Scont Foundation Mr. Amon Lukhele said they want to know if chiefs understand social protection programs, whether it is working, and where the programme can be changed to benefit rural masses.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Planning and Development Allan Jere said the public works programme is undergoing a review process following mismanagement of funds and failure of both national and district teams to monitor the programme among other challenges.

Jere said Government made an agreement with the World Bank to pilot a new approach to implementation of Public Works called the Enhanced Public Works Programme and 2.5 billion was set aside for this.

"This pilot programme is being implemented in 10 districts targeting ten thousand beneficiaries, each beneficiary receive K21,600 per month and the impact evaluation of this pilot programme will determine the future of the programme," said Jere.

He also said Ministry of Economic Planning and Development is in discussions with the Ministry of Finance to increase funding and number of beneficiaries towards social protection programmes like social cash transfer in the country.

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