Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc has launched a K75 million-worth community intervention project to help with the fight against the spread of CoVID-19 in Dwangwa and Nchalo where the company has its sugar estates.
The project aims at engaging with the communities to highlight underlying behaviours that have created resistance to adherence to CoVID-19 preventive measures as well as vaccine uptake.
The program will also include a communications campaign in which Illovo is conducting engagement meetings with community leaders, school committees, districts commission, religious leaders, health surveillance assistants amongst others.
"This is to discuss CoVID-19 measures being undertaken by the different stakeholders," says Illovo Sugar Malawi Managing Director, Lekani Katandula.
"The interventions will also involve door to door activities targeting households where a survey is to be conducted to ascertain the level of understanding of CoVID-19 by community members and some of they are facing as a result of the pandemic.
"Illovo also seeks to understand water, hygiene and sanitisation factors that are closely linked to prevention of CoVID-19 amongst other diseases such as cholera, bilharzia and diarrhoea diseases," he said.
To complement the efforts, Illovo says it will also distribute 5,000 care packages comprising 20 litre buckets with tap and lid, face masks, soap, and CoVID-19 information pamphlets.
Additionally, the company is working with the Ministry of Health to create messages that will be delivered through local radio's as programs and adverts, PA system announcements, billboards and posters.
Katandula said: "As a business, we believe that for us to succeed we need the communities we operate in to be safe and healthy. CoVID-19 posses a detrimental risk to the lives of not only our employees and their families but also the communities around us."
Katandula further added that the company has been able to manage and enforce preventive measures within its business operations but noticed that the same was not necessarily the case with the surrounding communities.
"The company believes that by working with the communities through two way engagements and co-creation of community initiatives, it will ensure that there is community ownership of initiatives.
"We believe that if we work together with the communities we will help in preventing the rapid spread of CoVID-19 through a co-creation process that allows for the community leadership to take ownership of the initiatives uniquely relevant to their needs in addressing behavioural change," he said.
The project is estimated to cost the company a total of K75 million and is targeting all Illovo Sugar estates' surrounding communities and the grower community.
Specifically it will target Dyeratu, Maseya, Bereu, Thomu, Nchalo7, Ngabu, Malayini, Miseufolo, Paiva, Sekeni and Kasinthula in Chikhwawa.
Dwangwa activities will take place within Dwangwa Estate, DCGL Village, Chisita, Mowe village, Vitekete, Dwangwa TC, Nkhunga, Mtupi, Liwaladzi, Dema, Banga, Walemera, Ngala and Kasitu.
In Dwangwa, the company has enlisted the help of CARE Malawi to provide technical support towards execution of the project.
Copyright Nyasa Times. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source News Service English