Chikhwawa district is one of the poorest districts in Malawi (76% of its population living below a dollar a day). The district receives less rainfall but also is prone to floods during the rainy season hence the area is characterized among others by food insecurity, environmental degradation, and low household income. The district faces a number of problems such as food insecurity, low accessibility to safe water and sanitation, high morbidity and mortality rates, high illiteracy rates, poor communication infrastructure, environmental degradation, poor urban planning, low household income levels, high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and orphan hood, poor livestock management, unsustainable technologies and projects, decline in fish stocks, wild life and human conflict, rise in crime rates, and increase in vulnerability of people.
The project is addressing challenges of food security, high literacy levels, environmental degradation, low household income to reduce vulnerability of people especially women through various interventions such as formation of farmer cooperatives. Judith Kachasu who is secretary Nzatose cooperative is one of the members who have seen changes in her livelihood through project interventions. “This cooperative has changed our Livelihoods because we are realizing more profits from soya beans after processing using the vita goat.
The project is responding to needs of the targeted beneficiaries and the community at large hence it is still relevant in the context. There is continuous monitoring and feedback from stakeholders and implementation partners (DADO and HPP) regarding the needs of the target beneficiaries. The project has a established a robust monitoring system through quarterly club meetings through in which all members discuss achievements, challenges and way forward with project staff. Implementation plans are also reviewed during these meetings at all levels.
There is also a wide range of activities aimed at soliciting feedback from a wide range of stakeholders (beneficiaries, community leaders, government extension workers, project staff and members from other NGOs) such project site visits by stakeholders, quarterly review meetings, field days, action days in communities, demonstration days, annual review meetings, DEC meetings and VDC meetings which use participatory and inclusive learning and experience-sharing approaches to allow stakeholders opinions and ideas are taken into consideration during implementation of the project. ;