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Research reveals living conditions still pathetically poor in Malawi: Malawi@50

LILONGWE (MaraviPost) — Officials of Centre for Social Concern (CFSC) have spoken tough on the persistent poor living conditions for a larger population of Malawians who still live in abject poverty 50 years after independence.

According to the research the institution carried out in the month of May, it has found out that most Malawians can still not manage basic food needs to sustain themselves.

In a press statement CFSC Programme Officer for Social Conditions Research Alex Nkosi challenged government and Malawians at large to reflect on why the country’s socio-economic standards continue dwindling 50 years after independence.

Nkosi said the golden jubilee celebrations must be used as reflection time so that solutions to better living conditions for all Malawians are found.

“On 6th July, 2014, Malawi will be clocking fifty (50) years since our founding fathers opted for self-determination and weaned this country from the clutches of the colonialists. As the country discerns  the progress registered this far, and the setbacks encountered, the Centre for Social Concern (CFSC)  ceases this opportunity to acknowledge that Malawi’s journey of self-rule has been fraught with a  number of challenges which call for urgent redress.

“CFSC is troubled that after all these years of self-governance Malawians are still struggling to meet even the basic needs that a human being requires for survival and to live a dignified life. At fifty, our social and macroeconomic situation still tells a story of poverty – one that portrays Malawi as a poor country when measured by almost all development indicators.

“Having said this, we ought to realize that behind all the indicators that measure poverty are Malawians: children, women and households struggling on a daily basis to keep their souls and bodies together. Thus, that families should go hungry to bed, fifty years after independence, because they cannot access food is not only deplorable but also a gross human right violation,” reads the statement in part.

However the research for conditions of living that the institution conducted in the month of May found out the Blantyre was an expensive city to live in.

The findings show that the cost of living for Lilongwe was K125, 893, Zomba K113, 576, Blantyre K127, 272 and Mzuzu K110, 821 respectively.

For instance the prices of 50 kilogram bag of Maize that the CFSC sampled gives a picture of the cost of living in the cities (50 Kg Bag) – 2 bags Lilongwe K4500,  Zomba K4000, Blantyre K5000, Mzuzu K5200.

In this regard Nkosi said that as the nation take stock of 50 years of independence, citizens need to ask that as a country why is it difficult to improve the food security situation of the poor and to operationalise their right to food.

“Hunger and poverty have significant impact on people’s social position, economic standing and political participation and as a consequent, on development. Thus, for Malawi to achieve meaningful and holistic development there is need to foster people’s ability to meet their basic needs because it is only then, that people will meaningfully participate in development endeavours” added Nkosi.

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