Testimonies from Titukulane beneficiaries in Zomba attest of being developed from the resilience food assistance initiative

The beneficiaries giving out their testimonies

* The activity was rolled out in 2019 with a pilot project in Zomba and Mangochi in 20 Traditional Authorities (T/A)

* Covers several sectors such as agriculture, youth development, WASH and education

By Duncan Mlanjira

From their testimonies, beneficiaries of Titukulane initiative — a resilience food assistance activity funded by USAID, through the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance — attest that the project has developed them in attaining sustainable, equitable & resilient food and nutrition security.


This was testified during an interactive session on Tuesday organised by CARE Malawi, the lead implementors of the Titukulane (‘Let’s Develop Together’) activity, held in the main catchment area of Zomba.

The activity, that was rolled out in 2019 with a pilot project in Zomba and Mangochi in 20 Traditional Authorities (T/A), covers several sectors such as agriculture; youth development (vocational skills training); water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH); and education.

The testimonies at Sunbird Ku Chawe attested that in agriculture, Titukulane activity has built the farmers’ capacity on how they can source markets and negotiate prices with buyers of their produce in collective marketing to increase bargaining power.

They were also provided with livestock as pass-on programme as well as improving crop production using manure from the goats and chicken — including being trained in bee keeping and its value added chain.

Value addition to agricultural produce

Products from the vocational skills learnt

The project also facilitated the training of over 2,000 youths (majority being females) in TEVET skills while in health and nutrition, it reached out to expectant mothers and lactating women of under-2 as well as building capacity for caregivers.

In WASH, 15 boreholes were drilled and 90 rehabilitated reaching out to a population of over 460,000 — and the beauty of it is that the Titukulane activity covered all the TAs in Zomba, as said by District Council Director of Planning & Project, Precious Kamtsitsi.

The delegates included Members of Parliament and TAs

In his contributions to speeches that were made, Kamtsitsi said they were very proud that they were the biggest beneficiaries of the project, saying their role to provide the needs of the communities has been addressed.

“We do fail to reach out to as many people as possible and we rely on development partners like CARE Malawi to come in with support,” he said. “The collaboration in the implementation we had in this project was unique and strong as it covered all the 10 T/As.

“The name of the project is just as sweet; Titukulane (lets develop together) and from the testimonies we have heard, this has been a successful activity.”

Kamtsitsi added that it was unfortunate that two years of the CoVID-19 pandemic (2020-21) disturbed their programmes but was quick to say that the beneficiaries enthusiastically gained steam as soon as they were finally reached out to.

“Titukulane has inculcated a strong message of resilience as the farmers have been encouraged on irrigation farming while the youths have been transformed on personal economic transfiguration,” Kamtsitsi said.


In its last mile, CARE Malawi is implementing the five-year resilience food assistance activity in a consortium comprising Save the Children, Emmanuel International, International Food Policy Research Institute, National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) and WaterAid.

CARE Malawi’s Chief of Party, Daniel Abbott said the project is also in line with the MW2063 national vision of resilience development and added that as it is going into its last phase, they wished the communities could sustain its success beyond the Titukulane concept.

He further said Titukulane finishes strong in that the beneficiary communities have taken lessons from the shocks that recently stressed households through Cyclones Ana and Freddy as well as the El Niño-induced drought by being strong.

Daniel Abbott

“Households that lost their crops due to the cyclones, and those affected by the [El Niño-induced] drought, quickly picked themselves up through irrigation farming, which they are continuing as part of winter cropping,” he said.

The overall goal of Titukulane is to achieve sustainable, equitable and resilient food and nutrition security and focuses on good governance & accountability at all levels; gender equality, women empowerment; youth opportunities & engagement and also environmental safeguarding.

To achieve the goal, Titukulane is implementing activities under three purposes:

* increasing stable and equitable incomes from agriculture and non-agriculture livelihoods for the underprivileged and destitute households and youths;

* improving the nutritional status of children under five years of age, adolescent girls and women of reproductive age; and

* building institutional and local capacities to reduce risk and increase resilience among hanging in, stepping in and stepping out households.


To ensure optimal benefits from nutrition specific interventions, Titukulane’s Theory of Change (ToC) aims at increasing the proportion of households with sustainable and improved basic drinking water supply and with improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

This intervention involves investments in improvements in water services provision, rehabilitation and asset management systems, increasing household demand for and choice of sanitation and hygiene technologies as well as strengthening service provision and accountability systems.

WASH components of Titukulane are market-based sanitation; governance & WASH systems strengthening; citizens’ participation through community score card; hygiene behaviour change through the Waliwali hygiene campaign and increasing access to sustainable, improved, and equitable drinking water sources with a basic access level.

Titukulane also supported the Mangochi and Zomba District Councils in responding to the cholera outbreak through community health awareness campaigns.