Saturday, January 09, 2010
By Martin Mashekwa in Kalomo
Fri 08 Jan. 2010, 04:00 CAT
THE Ministry of Community Development and Social Services says it is considering scaling up the social cash transfer scheme in all districts and revise the amount being given to incapacitated households.
Community development permanent secretary Davison Mendamenda, who was accompanied by community development director Rose Mutupo, disclosed this in Kalomo during their familiarisation tour of the scheme.
“With resources permitting, the scheme will be scaled up, government is working with its cooperating partners and a number of them have shown willingness to extend a helping hand,” said Mendamenda.
And acting Kalomo district commissioner Justus Phiri said the introduction of the cash transfer scheme had drastically helped the incapacitated households in the district and reduced poverty levels and begging trends that manifested in communities.
The scheme which was piloted in Kalomo in 2004 and launched by the then community development minister Marina Nsingo, is currently catering for 3,500 beneficiaries in the 127 community welfare assistance coordinating committees with 93 pay points.
Single-headed households are getting K80,000 and those with children net K100,000 bi-monthly.
He said some beneficiaries had engaged in small income generating activities such as gardening, goat and chicken rearing as they were free to use the money in any form they wished, enabling them to fend for themselves and be able to send their children to school.
However, Phiri observed that the current funding levels were still inadequate to cater for the needy incapacitated households in the district.
The scheme caters for 10 per cent of the really incapacitated households while the other needy are covered under the public welfare assistance scheme (PWAS) where they get food security packs to enhance food security among themselves.
This farming season, 310 packs have been distributed to identified needy households in Kalomo with 220 coming from the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) and 90 under the funding of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The social cash transfer scheme is mainly funded under the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID).