Serving the most vulnerable
    in rural Malawi
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 © 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

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Agriculture …..


We’re growing moringa trees - a rich nutritional resource - with leaves packed with Vits A & C, protein, calcium, iron & potassium. We’re harvesting, drying and processing the leaves into a powdered food supplement for the malnourished.

 

Moringa growth multiplied over the rainy season, but the weather set up several new challenges —inability to dry the leaves adequately without the air humidity rehydrating them, and a tendency for young seedlings to become waterlogged, which they don’t tolerate well. Sad to see many seedlings sitting in puddles during the rainy season, their leaves yellowing, but the numbers are slowly increasing, we have several hundred trees on site now.

These were pruned as well as harvested, with the off-cuts becoming cuttings for replanting.




Packing the moringa powder


A frail “Yankho” member delighted to receive her first pot of moringa food supplement.

We spoke to Yankho — our AIDS-affected support group— about the nutritional benefits of moringa, and offered some to whoever would like to try it.  Every member present jumped at the chance, and enough was given to each for 0.5 tspn a day.  This is not really enough for an adult, but conscious of their fragile digestive systems, we thought it wise to introduce it gradually while we build up stock.

CassavaAfter a slow start in the dry season, the plants had caught up. The more vigorous plants were divided and used as seed multiplication both for us and the community and were replanted on site.  Leaves were fed to the rabbits.


Sweet Potato—we attempted 2 varieties, but neither were particularly vigorous, due, we think, to poor irrigation practices during the dry season.  Some has fed the livestock but growth hasn’t been enough for successful seed multiplication


Alfalfa—All of the research we’d done regarding feeding livestock effectively highlighted alfalfa as one of the best sources of animal nutrition. However, we’ve not been very successful in growing it yet, but we’re still trying in several different areas.


VegetablesWe’ve grown and given away mustard, tomatoes, aubergines, onions and carrots, to the vulnerable.

Tree nursery—Apart from moringa, we’re also raising seedlings of leguminous trees—glyricidia and leucaena, helping to feed the soil to nourish the other planting and also for use in compost. Both trees help provide protein content for our livestock hay. We aim to grow and distribute moringa seedlings increasingly.  

Farming God’s WayThe anticipated training follow-up by Dickson (FGW) was postponed, but our good friends, Les and Kathie, who live in Malawi and oversee this project, will facilitate the trip later.


YankhoWe lent part of our land to our AIDS support group to farm as it will take a few years to commit all the land to moringa with the staff we have.  They’ve done well—hopefully with good results at harvest.

Spreading the moringa leaves on metal-mesh covered frames, topped by tin “hats” - the chosen drying method until our Processing Unit is ready with purpose-built drying cabinets.

Crops ….

Soya—very promising! The agri team have managed to plant much more than last year so a good harvest is expected. It’s fixing nitrates into the soil close to our moringa trees while it grows, and after harvest the beans will provide much of the protein content of our livestock concentrate, as well as being a central ingredient in the phala we prepare for malnourished children.


Plump soya pods starting to dry out ready for harvest.

Moringa ….

Summer Report 2014

including Feb-March trip

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This is page 2 of summer update 2014

Page 3

During early 2014 we’ve repaired 4 more boreholes …..

Nachanje Village Borehole

This outlying borehole had been broken for almost a year before it came to our notice. More than 275 households struggled to carry enough water for their families, so they’re delighted it’s been repaired!


Water….

Kamoto Village Borehole

This borehole had not been working for over 7 months before we heard about it, leaving 290 households without access to safe local water


Bwanali Village Borehole

Another high-usage pump, situated centrally in a huge village, next to where the under-5’s & nursery school meet, and our milk/phala distribution point. It’s used by 870 households in a very poor and remote area near the border with Mozambique

Bilisoni Village Borehole

This borehole is heavily used by about 150 households of Bilisoni and some of Bongwe Village.  It’s on a main road, so serves travellers too.

Kamoto Village

Bilisoni Village

Bwanali Village

Nachanje Village