Archive for ‘malawi’


The Climate is No Shield Against the Coronavirus

March 27th, 2020

Unfortunately, according to WHO, COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in all areas, regardless of the local climate.

WHO Myth Busting on Covid-19

From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Malawi Decriminalises Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes

March 4th, 2020

Malawi decriminalises cannabis from The Guardian newspaper.
The Guardian, 28 Feb, 2020

Desperate times can call for desperate measures. Malawi has passed a bill decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, almost five years after a motion to legalise industrial hemp was adopted. The country follows in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho, neighbouring south-east African states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, as well as South Africa, where medicinal and recreational use was decriminalised in 2018.

Agriculture offers employment to nearly 80% of Malawi’s population. Tobacco is the country’s major export, and the global decline in its use has impacted the economy. Malawi’s tobacco industry is also marred by exploitation, as international companies such as British American Tobacco have sought cheap labour – including child labour – and low tariffs on raw tobacco for export. Cannabis, which can thrive in dry conditions, is a good fit for Malawi’s climate, which has been impacted by the southern African drought.

- from The Guardian, read the rest here.

In Chichewa, cannabis is locally known as chamba and is grown mainly in central and northern regions like Mzuzu. Malawian cannabis, particularly the strain known as Malawi Gold, is internationally renowned as one of the finest sativa strains from Africa. According to a World Bank report it is among “the best and finest” marijuana strains in the world, generally regarded as one of the most potent psychoactive pure African sativas. The popularity of this variety has led to such a profound increase in marijuana tourism and economic profit in Malawi that Malawi Gold is listed as one of the three “Big C’s” in Malawian exports: chambo (Tilapia fish), chombe (tea), and chamba (cannabis).

Lynn Clifford profile in EPI Newsletter

February 20th, 2020

Lovely to see the work of our great friend and colleague, Lynn Clifford of WAG in Malawi being acknowledged in the February Newsletter for the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI).

“Growing up in Ireland, Africa was a place that grabbed my imagination and I dreamed of working there. Then I started reading about “Leakey’s Angels” – Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birutė Galdikas. I wanted to be like them when I grew up, living in the bush and protecting wildlife. Dreams do come true.”

The EPI is an African-led response to the elephant crisis. A majority of Africa’s surviving elephants – both forest and savannah species – are in EPI countries. These have common policies to save Africa’s elephants and to build a sustainable future for its people.

Lynn Clifford, EPI Newsletter Feb 2020

Tagging Ellies

November 13th, 2019

We caught up with our colleague and friend, Lynn Clifford and the WAG team recently as they tagged abuot 90 elephants in Thuma. Tagging helps them track numbers and also get an insight to habits and behaviours, like whether they’re eating locals’ crops. It’s dangerous but rewarding work for Lynn and her rangers, on very challenging terrain with some fairly hefty specimens.

Lynn and team tagging ellies

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World Pneumonia Day - Nov 12

November 12th, 2019

From Save the Children Malawi: Today is World Pneumonia Day, a day to call to action for stakeholders to urgently reduce pneumonia deaths – making sure that #EveryLastChild has clean air to breathe, nutritious food to eat, and safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

World Pneumonia Day
Save the Children Malawi, World Pneumonia Day

WFP Malawi and USDA Building Schools

October 1st, 2019

This is the sort of positive initiative from WFP that gives Malawi a long term chance. Education really is the key if Malawians are to have hope.

United Nations World Food Programme in Malawi is providing schoolmeals in primary schools and building secondary schools in rural areas to give these children a chance to continue their education. In association with USDA.

See video here.

WFP Malawi programme

ALK on the Schools Run

May 9th, 2019

ALK on the Schools Run

The redoubtable Anne-Louise Kelly was back in Malawi last month checking in on the schools in our Food Growing Project with WAG. Despite all their travails, their daily struggles against poverty and hunger, the children were as upbeat as ever. Humanity burns strongly in these kids who deserve the chance for a better life. Here are some great smiles from Kambiri, Namachete and Kavunguti schools.

TT/WAG Schools Project

TT/WAG Schools Project

TT/WAG Schools Project

Season’s Greetings from Malawi

December 22nd, 2018

What a lovely and motivating message to get from our great friend and TT supporter on the ground in Malawi, Lynn Clifford of WAG.

Dear TT
Just a quick note to wish you all a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Tuesday Trust has been partnering with WAG now for some years and I
have to thank you for all your support.
The projects we have been supporting have at times produced amazing
results and at other times have been extremely disappointing. However,
I think it is important to keep in mind that the situation here is
desperate, and in most cases its the cultural side which pulls down
the roof, so to say.
Child Education and woman empowerment are key, as these are the most
vulnerable of our society, and TT are doing great things on the
education front.
WAG in 2019 will be revising our education projects, in an attempt to
activate young people though video and more particle ways. More to
come on that.
The gardens have already been prepared and planted. This year we have
been more strict with very clear guidelines about garden size, fencing
planting etc. All schools have personally told me they love this
project and have made many mistakes and this year we will see many
changes. Let’s see.
The clinic has planted with the rains and already the soya and ground
nuts have germinated and the garden looks alive.
Tuesday Trust should remember you are giving hope in a country were
there is little hope. For this I thank you for your continued support
to Malawi. Please never forget you do make a difference. For this we
are grateful.
Wishing you all a fab Christmas.
Hugs and Thanks a million

Lynn and ALK en route to Malawi

Schooling in Malawi: a vicious circle

November 27th, 2018

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Interesting, though challenging piece looking at the schooling stats here from a Scottish educationalist, Elizabeth Ritchie who has worked extensively in Malawi. She paints a stark picture of the challenges.

One of the key figures quoted in the headlines is that less than half of pupils in Malawi’s primary schools complete the full eight years of basic education. However, the total might be even less than that. In desperately poor schools in rural areas, the completion rate might well be in the region of 30%, but is balanced out nationally by the completion rate in the better private schools and in urban government schools.

What is worrying, however, is that the completion rate is falling. It was 52% in 2013. While everyone agrees that the EMIS figures are shocking, some researchers even so do not consider them to be accurate. Analysis by Chancellor College, University of Malawi, suggests that the overall primary completion rate is actually less than 30%.

Most children drop out of school between Standard 1 and Standard 2 when classes are at their largest. Furthermore, it is not just completion which is a problem. Many children repeat classes, sometimes year after year: almost 22% across the country. Pupils who repeat, don’t move on. They rarely learn much more as the problems which have damaged their education remain. They are stuck, educationally, socially and intellectually.

It is a vicious circle. High class sizes at the early stages of primary school contribute to dropout. Drop out results in too few pupils entering secondary school. Too few secondary pupils result in too few trainee teachers which, in turn, means a pupil-teacher ratio which is too high.

The government is prioritising the building of CDSSs. However, in order to develop secondary education, which is essential for national development, it will have to divert resources from already under-resourced primary schools. These are the kinds of decisions which developing nations make all the time.

The data in this post may seem overwhelming in its significance for the long term development of Malawi. However, change is possible. Improvements happen – think of the strides made by countries like Ghana, for example. Such improvements depend on careful prioritisation and planning and for these accurate data is needed. Depressing though the data may look, the important thing is that at least it is now being gathered and reported. Let us hope that it will now be used and acted on.

More here

The 10 Most Important Facts About Education in Malawi

October 15th, 2018

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Malawi has been ranked as one of the lowest-performing nations for literacy in sub-Saharan Africa. Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world and education is proven as one of the critical pathways to improving living conditions in the country. Here are 10 facts regarding education in Malawi:

Experts believe that education is the driving force to alleviating poverty in Malawi and that it can help the country move toward development. With greater government involvement and international organisations supporting the nation, education in Malawi has the potential to improve in coming years.