Food utilization at Dwambazi

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Dwambazi a lake-shore based community has a good source of high nutri-tious animal food stuff from fish. Dwambazi relies much on cassava (kondowole) as staple food crop and rice as commercial crop. In a communi-ty of all possible nutritious food resources readily available, has been experi-encing a number of malnutrition cases especially under-five children, preg-nant mothers, elderly and chronically diseased persons according to Dwam-bazi community health centre report on nutrition.

CADECOM with the financial support from Manos Unidas, introduced the project called Strengthening Resilience for Small holder Farmers (STREFA.) The project came in to improve the livelihood of the beneficiaries through the improvement of food and nutrition security and increase the incomes at the household level and beyond. The project targeted the villages of Chipeni, Chanika, Gonkhowe and Mwankhombe under the group village headman Kamphambale. To achieve the objectives, CADECOM has been conducting the trainings that have imparted permanent knowledge and skills to the par-ticipants on the specified field that the training targeted with minimum re-sources and the use of readily available resources. One of the activity con-ducted was the training the care group lead mothers in food utilization.

Training the care group lead mothers in food utilization, helped the partici-pants to understand how to get good nutrition at home. The training unveiled that good nutrition is about to have all the 6 food groups in a meal per day while nutrition security was discussed as having a balanced diet all day and 365 days a year. During the training all the sources of important food groups were discussed and related to the available sources at home. The training revealed why most households do not attain 6 food groups as a result of lack of knowledge and mismanagement of time to prepare the food.

Jacob Chirwa 42 and father of 4 children is a beneficiary of STREFA project in Chipeni village. He attended the training and participated in all practical activities in food cooking demonstration. He said “before the training I thought, good nutrition is about eating too much nsima (kondowole) with meat. I never knew that nutrients found in meat are similar to that found in fish, termites (ngumbi), mice and eggs. He added that I really regret for starving my family while I have been having resources to prepare a balanced diet so that I have the 6 food groups per day.

Asking him how he will implement this at home, he said that “I will make

sure that I have all the food stuffs all the time. Yes there are some that I will need to buy but vegetables I will be growing myself at a home yard garden. In this rainy season, I will keep on planting fruit trees so that I have fruits all the time. He added that this year he will plant more soya beans that he will be making more milk from soya for his home”.

Esther Banda 60, she is one of the participants attended the training. She said, the training acted like marriage solution to young ladies on how they should take care about the family including the husbands. She said; “some

young ladies failed the marriages because they never provided their hus-bands with nice local foods. They always expected the husband to buy every-thing. CADECOM trained them how to prepare snacks (mandasi) from cas-sava (kondowole) flour, juice from yellow sweet potatoes, milk from soybean and sweet beer (thobwa). Hence they will make their homes happy, husbands will be saving some money and they will concentrate on other develop-ments.”

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