CADECOM is a development arm of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi operating in all the eight Dioceses. In Mangochi it started as CARITAS in the 1970s before evolving in 1987 into the present institution to reflect the changes in social and religious development.
Under Mangochi Diocese, CADECOM has its footprints in nine parishes of Balaka, Chidzanja, Kankao, Katema, Mpili, Nankumba, Ulongwe, Utale 1 and 2. The Commission’s majer intervention areas include food security, nutritional security and natural resource management among others.
Other interventions under water, hygiene and sanitation include supply of clean and potable water, maintenance of shallow wells and mainstreaming of gender and HIV/Aids in all programme areas.
As a Catholic development arm of the Diocese we work with any vulnerable groups of society without looking at colour, religion or ethnicity because our goal is to make the person live quality life to praise God for his creation. CADECOM uses the church and government structures as an approach to its activities with the Commission’s committees working directly with local governance institutions like the village development and area development committees respectively. CADECOM is also involved in humanitarian relief work in times of natural disasters such as drought and floods. “We are also involved in vocational and entrepreneurship skills development to address the growing problem of employment among the youth and women. In the past three years,CADECOM has since drilled 18 boreholes the majority of which were in Balaka at Utale. The distribution of hybrid seed varieties has also contributed to increased food security with the Ulongwe irrigation scheme being unique since it uses submersible pumps and solar power because the area has no readily water supply.
“We have distributed 8000 goats on a pass – on programme, something which is on – going. In terms of humanitarian aid, over 100,000 households have been reached with relief aid items, others with inputs for resilience like irrigation and seed money for village savings and loans,” he added.
CADECOM carries out its activities based on an annual budget of 500 Euros for both development and relief work, although the figure keeps on fluctuating. Major donors of the Commission include TROCAIRE, Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, OXFAM, the World Food Programme, Caritas Australia, the European Union and CORDAID.
The ride has not been all rosy with some challenges encountered along the way. He said the impact of climate change manifested through floods and drought has had a negative effect on food security efforts.