Registration of beneficiaries for the 1,000 days Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Nutrition Cash Plus programme in Mpika district has started.
Mpika District Commissioner, David Siame, this is a pilot programme which will be implemented in four districts in Zambia and Mpika is one of them.
Mr. Siame told ZANIS in Mpika today that the programme has been devised because the Social Cash Transfer alone is not sufficient to cater for additional nutritional needs pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
He added that this is why other interventions such as nutritional programmes have been developed.
“The main objective of this programme is to ensure that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers achieve a high level of nutrition,” said Mr. Siame.
Mr. Siame further said the programme will help reduce the levels of stunting in the district, which is currently at 30 percent.
“Currently in Mpika, stunting levels are at 30 percent. So this programme will help improve the levels of stunting,” he said.
And Mpika District Social Welfare Officer, Amadeus Mwango, said the pilot programme is intended to capture 3,000 households with children below the age of one year and those with pregnant women.
“Government, with cooperating partners, thought that we undertake this important exercise to address the issues of stunting in the district,” he said.
Mr. Mwango further said the 1,000 days SCT Nutrition Cash Plus beneficiaries will receive bimonthly grant payments.
“The programme is one of the components of Zambia’s social protection interventions through which bimonthly grants are given to vulnerable households meeting the required benchmarks,” he said.
He has since urged community members to avail themselves in large numbers and register for the benefit of their children.
Meanwhile, Annette Mwansa, a Chibaye resident said the programme will be of great help as it will improve the nutrition levels in the community.
Ms. Mwansa said most children in the area are stunted, adding that this has also affected their well-being.
“Child development in this area has been bad. Some children are not even able to reason properly at school because of effects of poor nutrition,” said Ms. Mwansa