MOMA financial literacy classes empower communities in Mwanza, Neno and Balaka

Wilson Biziweki from Kagonamwake Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nthache in Mwanza District

MOMA financial literacy classes empower communities in Mwanza, Neno and Balaka

By Peter Kanjere

Wilson Biziweki from Kagonamwake Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nthache in Mwanza District was until last month excited and scared at the same time.

The subsistence farmer was excited that he would receive compensation under the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) component of the Resettlement Action Plan for the Mozambique-Malawi (MOMA) Power Transmission Interconnection Project.

The subsistence farmer was excited that he would receive compensation under the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) component of the Resettlement Action Plan for the Mozambique-Malawi (MOMA) Power Transmission Interconnection Project.

He is among many people to be compensated for being displaced by the construction of the 218-kilometre transmission power line from Mozambique to Malawi via Mwanza, Neno to Phombeya Sub-station in Balaka District.

However, the more Biziweki thought about the money he would receive, the more he became afraid at the possibility of falling into the trap other people in his area fell into after receiving compensation from similar projects.

“Some people from our area received compensation after being displaced by the Vale railway line construction project. They ended up ruining their lives, marrying many women, womanizing and drinking. Most of those beneficiaries died after contracting diseases and the surviving ones are worse off financially than they were before receiving the compensations,” he said.

Another thing that troubled Biziweki was how to keep the money away from prying eyes of thieves.

“Once people know you have money, you become a target of thieves. Some lose their lives after receiving compensation packages,” he said.

For Gladys Mzimu also from the same Mwanza area, her fears were, until months ago, about the sort of business to venture in upon receiving the compensation.

“I am a small scale business person living hand-to-mouth and the thought of investing in an unsustainable business that could lead to loss of all the money scared me,” she said.

“I am a small scale business person living hand-to-mouth and the thought of investing in an unsustainable business that could lead to loss of all the money scared me,” she said.

Speaking after attending the two-day class in her area, Mzimu said she came out of the sessions enlightened about financial issues.

“The facilitators enlightened us on what money really is, how to develop a business plan, draw up a budget and manage money. I now appreciate the importance of involving my husband when drafting the budget to incorporate his ideas,” she said.

Mzimu said the classes also tackled topics on gender and discrimination, which usually occur when a member of a family is well off financially.

Mzimu said the classes also tackled topics on gender and discrimination, which usually occur when a member of a family is well off financially.

Biziweki could not agree more with Mzimu, saying he was now in the right frame of mind to receive the compensation package.

“I learnt about saving money, managing money, where to save money either with the traditional banks or village banks, disadvantages and disadvantages of both,” he said.

One of the financial literacy classes’ facilitators, Joseph Kamwendo from ESCOM said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants.

“The turnout was good with the participants showing a lot of interest in the sessions. We believe that the impact of the training sessions will go a long way in ensuring improved economic empowerment of the Project Affected Persons,”’ he said.

ESCOM Social and Gender Inclusion Manager, Elube Chienda said they organised 19 classes across the three districts to prepare members of the communities for the compensation and avoid disputes.

“The list of those to receive compensations is now at verification and validation stage with the government. Once the government is through with the verification, they will approve the names eligible for the compensation. The financial literacy classes pave the way for the compensation process to take place smoothly,” she said.

During the same meeting, ESCOM introduced project contractors namely Larsen & Tourbo (L&T), Gopa Intec and Asian Consulting Engineers to members of the community of Mbemba Village, T/A Symon in Neno.

Last year, implementation consultants Asian Consulting Engineers did the ground work by undertaking verification exercise to ascertain accuracy of the data for PAP in the three districts.

The project involves constructing 76km in Malawi side and 142km in Mozambique plus extension of Phombeya Substation. Malawi will benefit 50Mw from the project.

Malawi Government, European Union, World Bank and KfW are funding the project which will contribute to economic growth of the region through sustainable power access by integrating Malawi electricity market to the Southern African Power Pool to balance power deficit through regional trading.

Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera disclosed that government has, on behalf of ESCOM, engaged Mozambique’s Electricidade de Mocambique to consider increasing power supply from the MOMA project. He was speaking at Marara District in Tete, Mozambique, on April 21 2022 when he joined his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi in laying a foundation stone for the construction of the 400kV MOMA project.
ATTENTIVE—Financial literacy classes underway in Mwanza

ATTENTIVE—Financial literacy classes underway in Mwanza

ATTENTIVE—Financial literacy classes underway in Mwanza

ATTENTIVE—Financial literacy classes underway in Mwanza

ATTENTIVE—Financial literacy classes underway in Mwanza

ATTENTIVE—Financial literacy classes underway in Mwanza