MWAPE MWENYA, Mwinilunga
THE pass-on-the-gift project being implemented by the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) in Mwinilunga district in North- Western Province is yielding positive results in communities as more than 400 beneficiaries have been empowered with small livestock.
NFNC started implementing a three-year pilot project dubbed Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) in 14 districts countrywide with the aim of improving nutrition for pregnant mothers and children below the age of two years.
In Mwinilunga district, the SUN project is being implemented in six wards and is expected to extend to all 19 wards in the district.
Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, 31-year-old Vera Sameshi said the project has helped improve nutrition for her four children who were once malnourished.
Ms Sameshi, a single mother, said the project has not only improved nutrition but it has helped alleviate poverty at household level, especially in female-headed households.
“My children almost died of malnutrition because they lacked vitamins; I was failing to afford diet meals for them because I lacked resources. Now I am able to feed them on eggs I get from the chickens and they also drink goat milk and other nutritious foods,” Ms Sameshi said.
And district nutrition support coordinator Kalumba Sichipula said the 400 beneficiaries have so far managed to pass on 180 chickens and 200 goats to new beneficiaries since the project started.
Mr Sichipula said the SUN project is being managed by five government ministries, whose goal is to reduce malnutrition and stunting levels in children below the age of two years.
The five are the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and the Ministry of General Education.
He said traditional leaders are playing a key role in ensuring that the project is adopted by their subjects and also offering land to women who want to venture into farming.