Social and Economic Development (SED)

When the Salima project began a detailed needs analysis, via a household survey, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews, of the people affected by the project took place. This was used to establish a baseline of what meaningful interventions we could make to develop and support the Project Affected Areas. From the study, and through community consultation, three areas of community development interventions were identified:

  • Agricultural practices;
  • Water and sanitation; and
  • Rural electrification.

The agricultural practices overlap with livelihood restoration initiatives associated with the land acquisition process, while the water and sanitation, and rural electrification are stand-alone SED programs. Thus far the focus has been on the following activities:

  • Identification of a partner organization to implement the Conservation Agriculture Program;
  • The installation of a borehole at Namanda Primary School,
  • The installation of solar lighting for the classrooms; and
  • Financial support to the InPath Program (The Integrated Pathways for Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health) which helps to reduce maternal and child deaths in three Malawian districts.

Conservation Agriculture Initiatives

The conservation agriculture initiatives are aimed at tackling food and nutrition security among rural households by promoting and increasing adoption of climate-smart technologies to adapt to changing weather patterns and climate shocks. This means improving access for people to agricultural extension systems, quality inputs, and opening markets to small-holder farmers.

Through the implementation of the conservation agriculture programs access to food for households and food security will be enhanced. People living in the area will be taught ways to increase their family incomes, and also to diversify ways of earning money that increase their resilience to the negative effects of climate change. It offers life-changing opportunities to around 950 rural homes or the approximately 4,000 people who live in and around the village. The project will be measured through three inter-linked outcomes:

  • Increased production and productivity of targeted crops and promoted livestock;
  • Improved and expanded access to markets; and
  • Increased adoption of environmentally friendly technologies and practices.

JCM has identified an implementation partner and will start work on these initiatives in the second quarter of 2020.

Water and Sanitation and Rural Electrification: Namanda Primary School

Malawian Government standards require one hand pump borehole to provide enough borehole water for a maximum of 250 people. Boreholes that serve more than 250 people are considered high risk because of frequent mechanical failure and low water yield due to overuse, which depletes the water table. The village of Kanzimbe has one borehole and a hand pump which supports more than 2,000 people, meaning that people (predominantly women and girls) wait between two to four hours to collect water.

Namanda Primary School, the main primary school in the area, had a non-functional solar water pumping system, and a standalone solar PV system for lighting which was broken. As a result, the students and teachers had to fetch water from the nearby villages and the solar system for lighting did not illuminate the whole building, and only provided lighting in one of eight classrooms when it was working.

In late 2019, JCM installed a borehole and solar pumping system as well as a solar lighting system for the school. JCM targeted employment of community members for the project and, and the money they earned was paid into a community maintenance account.

In 2020, JCM will expand this life-changing programme to Mbwezela Primary School.

InPATH Project

JCM and CowaterSogema have joined forces with OneDrop in Malawi. CowaterSogema has been implementing a maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) initiative for the past two years in Chitipa and Kasungu districts. Recognizing the companies’ shared values and commitment to support the social, environmental, and economic development in Malawi, a partnership was formed through the CowaterSogema led InPATH initiative.

With this partnership in place, additional funding was leveraged from the Government of Canada to expand the Integrated Pathways for Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (InPATH) operations to Salima, the district which is host to the Salima Solar PV Project. This unique opportunity allowed JCM to join an existing consortium of private, public and civil society stakeholders and benefit from established strong working relationships with national and local governments in Malawi.

The goal of the 2016-2021 InPATH project is to contribute towards the reduction of maternal and child mortality in Kasungu, Chitipa and Salima by strengthening local health systems and improving governance and accountability for results in Rural Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH). To do so, this InPATH project is addressing the capacity of skilled health personnel in Malawi by building local-level capacity for facility and community-based health workers; the need for safe and hygienic environments for deliveries, antenatal and postnatal care through improved water and sanitation at health facilities; and the involvement of citizens in local-level decision making for RMNCH service delivery through strengthened local governance structures and mechanisms for citizen engagement.

This initiative will improve the delivery and utilization of essential health services in the communities of Salima including maternal, newborn and child services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under the age of 5.

During 2019 the project supported different activities in Salima; including:

  • Three Gender Technical Working Group (TWG) and MNCH Subcommittee meetings; this is a forum where Gender and MNCH issues are coordinated and collaborated (discussions include scaling up best practices, lessons learnt as well as challenges and mitigation measures)
  • Provided logistical and technical support on monthly basis to MoH district mentors to conduct clinical mentoring to health facilities service providers on maternal newborn health, family planning, post abortion care, Health Management Information Systems
  • Quarterly MNH Quality Improvement collaborative learning sessions conducted in the five clusters; health service providers and District Health Management Team meet during these sessions and discuss progress on improving quality of maternal health services.
  • Finalized engineering designs and procurement of services for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and health facility renovations; contracted GIMTECH and Thandi to do construction works starting at Salima District Hospital and Khombedza health center
  • Procurement of medical equipment for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services
  • Procurement and distribution of essential equipment for Long Acting and Permanent Methods (LAPM) and Post Abortion Care (PAC) services.
  • InPATH provided a Resuscitaire (a warmer for resuscitating babies who are born with breathing problems) to the Operating Theater at the Salima District Hospital.
  • Supported capacity building of health workers in maternal and newborn health, child health, family planning, Post Abortion Care; capacity building of Gender TWG and MNCH Subcommittee on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

More information on the InPath Program is available through our Partner Organizations: One Drop