A total of 2800 less privileged families at Mpasadzi in Kasungu are earmarked for owning modern houses under the smart village initiative courtesy of the Community Development Initiative (CDI).
CDI Board Chair and former president Dr. Joyce Banda said the initiative seeks to transform the lives of less privileged people in the area.
"We want to change the face of this rural area by bringing social services closer to the people," said Dr. Banda.
CDI has partnered with US-based Irise Homes and Imperative Inc to transform the area by also promoting commercial farming among the beneficiary households.
Speaking when she laid a foundation stone marking the commencement of the project on Friday at Mpasadzi, Dr. Banda warned chiefs and stakeholders against politicizing the initiative and to guard against corruption and abuse of construction materials.
She said any traces of corrupt tendencies and theft of resources would force CDI to pull out.
"We want the lives of people to change for the better and we can only achieve that if the resources are safeguarded," she said.
Irise Homes Chairperson who led a delegation of sponsors, Jason Rosamond challenged the Mnyanja community to work hard to transform their own lives.
He said "donors' support without recipients' hard work would mean nothing. This is your development, you have worked hard! "
Apart from modern houses, CDI with support from its donors will construct a secondary school, a hospital, and fish ponds.
Traditional Authority Mnyanja said the community will ensure the project was successful saying the area has lagged behind for decades.
Chiefs in consultation with the Kasungu District Council have offered 12,000 hectares for the smart village initiative at Mpasadzi.
The area was previously used as a scheme for tobacco products under the defunct former Kasunguy Flue-Cured Tobacco Authority (KFTA)