Lilongwe — Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) has challenged small-scale farmers in Dedza to engage an extra gear through collaborative approach in the fight against climate change to ensure food sustainability.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) after the meeting which CADECOM facilitated between farmers and governmental district duty bearers in Dedza, Program Coordinator, Aaron Kandiwo Mtaya, said there is a strong need by the farmers to actively involve relative stakeholders in environmental and agricultural affairs.
He said: "We organised this meeting under the Resource Rights project funded by Irish Aid, to bring together farmers and district level duty bearers. The aim was to let the farmers present their climate change related grievances to relevant authorities face to face and get feedback."
He said CADECOM has noted lack of coordination between stakeholders as evidenced through community concerns presented.
"We have taken note of the community's concerns presented as well as responses given by the authorities. As CADECOM, we will follow up on these issues and track progress to make sure that this meeting is fruitful," he said.
Kandiwo Mtaya, further said that, it was sad to learn how over 6 000 people under Traditional Authority (TA) Kachere in Dedza, scramble for portable water as they only have five boreholes.
Group Village Headman Chikumba who represented the group village headman, expressed gratitude to CADECOM for their intervention in alleviating devastating effects caused by climate change.
"For close to three years, we have received scanty rainfall leading to poor harvest. This development plunged us into food insecurity. As such, we sought help from organisations to relieve us from the dreadful situation.
"Luckily, CADECOM trained us to practice crop diversification, livestock farming, irrigation and planting trees. For that, we are grateful because we now manage to sustain ourselves," Chikumba said.
However, he bemoaned untimely response from the department of Disaster Management authorities in the District who delay in taking responsive action when the communities have been hit hard by natural disasters.
Commenting on the allegation, Assistant Officer from the Department of Disaster Management in Dedza, Mwayi Katundu, said the aforementioned delays are due to logistical issues.
"When people present their grievances asking for immediate assistance, we forward the reports to DODMA. The process takes longer sometimes because we wait for feedback from the head offices," he said.