Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi

  © 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

Summer Report 2019

including May trip

Food Programme


Elderlies’ Luncheons

Each fortnight a special event takes place on our site, with elderly folk arriving from early morning eager to attend.  Each has been specifically invited, and all enjoy a happy social time, prayer, laughing, singing and dancing.

Our cook prepares the meals, usually rice, meat, & vegetables, which are thoroughly enjoyed by all.

This trip (May) we’ve been looking at Palliative Care in Malawi—almost unheard of, but has reminded us of the lack of any special care for the elderly too.

Most of our “gardening” revolves around trees, especially moringa, but we still produce vegetables for the frail and vulnerable, mainly mustard and tomatoes.


Vegetables are distributed to those in need locally many times during the season according to availability, and are received with enthusiasm!

“Mustard” (left) this is a young plant of the popular green veg, full of nutrients, and is harvested by removing the outer leaves throughout the growing season.

Deforestation is a major problem in Malawi resulting in soil erosion and deterioration, by depletion of soil nutrients—a disaster in an agricultural society. Alongside is environmental damage: excessive water evaporation, lack of protection from flooding, wind, and sun, and the steady decline of wildlife habitats.

But the need for wood is aggressive—the only fuel available for cooking, building construction, and fencing.  For years we’ve been promoting reforestation, helping with community tree nurseries and encouraging tree planting, but only now are people starting to understand the urgent importance

of this project.

Most of the land on our two sites is planted with trees—mainly moringa—but our tree nursery, though empty at this time of year, will be providing plenty of seedlings for fuel, nutrition and green manure to the community later. Tree planting is traditionally done at the end of the year with the rains.

breaking it down into lists of monthly tasks, from

sowing seeds to planting seedlings out in the fields,

and engaging village committees.

key and vital element of preparation for tree planting.

Our pits (1.5m x 1.5m x 1m) are being layered with

manure and crop residue and we’ve prepared a  

simple diagrammatic instruction sheet for others.

Rotating the pits should ensure a constant supply of

good quality compost.

adequate irrigation, pruning, weeding, applying top

dressing to nourish, retain moisture, and blanket the

roots to protect from sun damage and soil erosion.

trees alongside crops to provide nitrate drop from roots and green manure from leaf fall.

The production of moringa powder as a nutritious food supplement continues.  The process is continually being refined as we learn more - one of the challenges is the fineness required so we had plans to connect a cyclone filter to the milling machine to collect the powder more efficiently. However, the right connection couldn’t be effectively manufactured in Malawi so we’ll have it made in the UK and take it back in September.

In the meantime we ran the new system of cleaning the moringa in a series of containers for efficiency and minimum wastage of water, and proved the system successful. The harvested leaves are netted then agitated in the first container of water to begin the cleaning process. The net is then hung to drain before being placed in the 2nd container filled with saline to disinfect.  Two rinses follow to complete the process before the leaves are spread over drying frames or placed on shelves in one of our dehydrators.


Moringa processing


Preparing compost pits

We anticipate severe food shortages as the year progresses following the cyclone damage to many fields. We bought in 15,000kgs (60,000 meals) of maize to store until the first of three distributions beginning at Christmas.

Unable to locate enough triple-layered grain storage bags, we had to chemically treat the rest of the maize with an insecticide to get rid of weevils which, if left, can be responsible for a 30% loss and significant deterioration of grain.

Drying maize

to ensure safe storage

Moringa leaves contain:

vits A,B,C,E & K, calcium, protein, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, selenium, all 9 essential  amino acids and 46 anti oxidants!

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OHP Centre - Chiringa