Thursday, May 10, 2007

Politics of food security

For a woman Margret William, the politics of the world--fight for positions in government would be nothing. Staying in Mwanza district, about 100 kilometers away for Blantyre, Malawi's commercial city, she is one of the many peasant Malawians who are surviving on hand out.

William, 43 years old, caste her vote in 2004 general elections to choose a member of parliament and a president that would lead her and her piers out of miserable life they were leading.

The hoped, after hearing so many, campaign messages that from the day the MP’s and there presidents would be sworn in she would experience an automatic transformation from poverty to riches. Nay it never comes.

Two years down the line, with a hole and a watering cane, William and her friends have decided to change her life completely with or without assistance from government.

About 19 women of Kanduku village in Mwanza district decided to launch a big fight against hunger at house hold level by instituting an irrigation scheme that saw the group planting three times a year.

"We plant different kind of crops and we can say that things are working for us," she told the Minister of Irrigation and Water Development Sidik Mia, who visited the irrigation to appreciate the efforts of the women.

Mia shocked with the fact that the women were watering their plants using watering cane, promised to assist the women with a motorised pump. There was deafening ullulations.

"You have sorted out our problem," William said on behalf of her fellow women.

The member of Parliament for the area Davis Katsonga, who is also a Minister of Defence, went a step further: "I will buy eight bag of ferliser," he told the women.


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