World Bank calls for sustainability in IEYP

The World Bank, a principal donor in the Investing in Early Years for Growth and Productivity Project (IEYP), has asked for the sustainability of interventions under the project once the financier stops funding the initiative.

World Bank-led mission said this Thursday in Dowa when it, with its project implementing entities visited the district to appreciate the progress of the project.

During the meeting at the council chamber, the mission team leader, Chiho Suzuki, said though the project was recording success in the district, funding would come to an end, hence the need to initiate sustainability measures in good time.

Part of the meeting at council chamber (photo by Sylvester Kumwenda)

“The project is already going towards its last years and funding will come to a stop. What we would like to see is the council making sure that there are measures to sustain the gains made.

“There will be structures which will need to be maintained and supervisions which will need to be conducted amongst other activities. My plea is for the team to strategically think of sustainability measures on this,” she said.

Currently, around 14, 400 children are benefiting from the project in the district under various Community-Based Childcare Centres (CBCCs).

Mwambiwa (standing) speaking at Chibwata CBCC (photo by Sylvester Kumwenda)

According to records from Dowa District Council, the project is recording success as shown by increased enrolment in early childhood development centres and positive caregiver retention. All model centres have also access to Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) and access to boreholes.

Dowa District Commissioner, Stallichi Mwambiwa, said the local council is empowering communities because all centres are owned by them to ensure the sustainability of the structures and services provided therein.

“We are empowering communities with knowledge on how they can, for example through their community leaders, sustain food at the centres and finances through savings and loan activities.

“Communities are also taught skills on how to conduct minor maintenance and restorations to structures. But another crucial element is we are also providing strategic linkages for sustainability,” said Mwambiwa.

Children at Chibwata CBCC play ground (photo by Sylvester Kumwenda)

During a field visit on the day, Group Village Headman Kazuta in Traditional Authority Msakambewa commended World Bank for the support provided at Chibwata CBCC and other centres.

“As traditional leaders, we take the lead in ensuring the sustainability of progress made under the project,” he said.

The IEYP is a five-year project implemented by the Malawi Government and the World Bank to improve coverage and utilisation of early childhood development.

Dowa is implementing the component of early learning with a focus on nutrition in all the seven traditional authorities.

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