Thursday, October 14, 2010

Community project helps alleviate food insecurity

Three years ago the people of
Nkhazo village in Dowa found
themselves in one of the most
severe droughts that had ever hit
the area. The rains disappeared
when their maize crop was at
flowering stages. Every thing they
had was gone.
To fight the impending disaster,
they came together to explore ways
of how they could save themselves
from the hunger. After lengthy
discussions, they settled on
irrigation farming as they had a
perennial river that flows through
their village.
However, many were disillusioned
by their crop failure and opted out
of the idea. The remaining group of
65 villagers went ahead to form
Vitcheche2 Irrigation Club. With
hunger staring them in the face,
the group worked hard in the
grueling task of tilling the sun
baked land along the river.
Seeing the commitment of the
community to be self sufficient and
also their determination to fight
hunger, Concern Worldwide supplied
the group with legume seeds.
Concern also linked the group to
agricultural extension services to
provide them with advice on their
new venture.
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L i v e l i h o o d s
Committed to a world without poverty
Despite having worked hard
on their land, the crop did not
do well. But the group did not
give up. They put in extra effort
and today the fruits of their
hard work are evident. They now
harvest three times a year.
Currently, part of the field is
lush with a healthy maize and
tomato crop.
“Concern came to our aid
when we had a drought in 2006
through the cash transfer
project. Every family was given
some money to see them
through the drought.
Says Chiwaya: “My family is no
longer destitute. I was very poor
but through this irrigation
project I have accumulated
personal effects and livestock.
We really appreciate the
difference Concern has brought
in our lives.”
Another member who is
grateful for Concern support is
Joyce Ndazaki (49). Joyce like
Chiwaya, has also made personal
advancement through the
project. And she says: “Through
Concern I have managed to
establish a tomato garden that
has improved the life of my
She adds: “Now I don’t
complain about anything. I have
bought goats and chickens from
the proceeds of my tomato
garden. Hunger is no longer an
issue in my family.”

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