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Previous Lynn’s Letters 2017






Good News from Malawi

3 February 2017

You may remember that around this time last year I told you about the terrible effects that the drought was having on the Namisu Children’s Village in Malawi. I shared with you the photograph below, from Angus, the General Manager of the AquaAid in Malawi, of the maize crop failing through lack of water. He has been in touch with us again this year about his maize crop. This time it is much better news.

He said, “About a year ago I sent you a depressing photo of our maize crop at Namisu, stressed from drought. Thankfully, this year we have had very good rain and you can see from this recent photo a much better crop. The maize and food relief has generally been very good and alleviated a lot of suffering. Should the rains continue Malawi will harvest a good crop of maize this year.

The main rainfall season in Malawi is October to April and the rain generally starts in the south in November and gradually work northwards. The Malawi Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services is predicting above normal rainfall for large parts of Malawi this rainy season so this should be good news for the crops and for food security.

The dependence on the rains is literally life or death in many parts of Africa and yet there are very few schemes for large scale water harvesting. One noticeable feature of many African houses is that they have no gutters so when it rains the rain water runs away and is lost. One of the things we have been working on here at SOWTech is domestic rain water harvesting. We have been designing gutters that work on corrugated tin roofs. These gutters are connected to water tanks that can hold thousands of litres of water rather than the domestic-sized cement or blow moulded plastic water tanks that hold hundreds of litres. The SOWTech view is that the more water that can be stored in the rainy season the more will be available in the dry season.

Maize growing in Malawi in 2016 Maize growing in Malawi in 2017

Last years maize crop in January 2016

This years maize crop in January 2017