Malawi Project

The club received a District Grant in September 2023 to progress this project

Resilient Homestead model for post cyclone Malawi

A pilot project to develop better ways of building homes in Southern Malawi where hundreds of flimsy homes were destroyed in recent cyclones. additionally improvements on water usage will be developed to help with water shortages and crop cultivation.

Cyclone Freddy destroyed around 300,000 houses in South Malawi . This is equivalent to every house in Glasgow needing repair or re-built. The affected households are poor. In addition, their food crops have been lost in the floods. The factors preventing villagers from rebuilding are

a) food shortages   
b) cash for materials and  
c) the skills to “re-build better”, whilst  avoiding further tree felling causing worse flooding.

THE PROJECT: This is a Pilot project to validate the Model of a “Resilient Homestead” to address these major issues facing villagers.

a) Food production: Permaculture landscaping, edible storm hedges, and intensive kitchen gardens will be demonstrated.  

b) Eco-construction techniques: A low cost “wattle and daub ” demonstration house will be built on the Ecolodgy campus , with input from the Rotary panel.Traditional burnt bricks will be avoided, because the tree felling for firing the bricks will cause more severe flooding .

c) Vertical cultivation:  recycles water and nutrients, and  overcomes the water shortage that limits  food production . It also reduces the burden for wives, who can be recruited from water carrying to become major contributors of household income. Vegetables can be grown by this technique, outside of the short growing season, and command higher prices.

These model Case Studies would be independently verified by Malawi  and UK Universities. 

BENEFICIARIES: Village participants will avoid food shortages through the intensive agriculture.

Several thousand households could rebuild using these models which Ecolodgy and Challenges Worldwide will promote, if proven successful. The villages adjacent to Ecolodgy which have been destroyed in Thyolo district are (Dzungu, William 1 and 2, and Khombaniwa villages), and in Blantyre district (Chigumula village). The participants in the Pilot programme can travel for their training, to the Ecolodgy site where the demonstration models will be built. Skills on “wattle and daub” will enable toilet privacy , because almost all households` toilet cabins  are destroyed .

Additional income for villagers to buy  materials is feasible, through acquiring these skills.

ROTARY INVOLVEMENT: Members of West Fife Rotary Club (Construction Project manager, Structural Engineer, Housebuilder, Architect) will form a UK Panel collaborating with Ecolodgy staff on design and construction of the Resilient Homestead. RCWF International team will co-ordinate and monitor Rotary funding for the Eco-construction and Agriculture. One member of International will make a self-funded visit to the Ecolodgy site during the Pilot project.

PARTNER ORGANISATIONS: Ecolodgy is a Training Centre for Permaculture and Eco-construction, located in South Malawi where the cyclone destroyed many villages. The demonstration and training of villagers and NGO`s will be centred there. Challenges Worldwide adds major expertise in agricultural and business training.

Ecolodgy is a Training Centre for Permaculture and Eco-construction , located in South Malawi where the cyclone destroyed many villages. The demonstration and training of villagers and NGO`s will be centred there. Challenges Worldwide adds major expertise in agricultural and business training.

Villagers trained in permaculture, vertical cultivation in Thyolo district are (Dzungu, William 1 and 2, and Khombaniwa villages), and in Blantyre district (Chigumula village) will create their own kitchen gardens and own them. Wattle and daub construction or repair of these villagers` homesteads will belong to them. Wattle and daub demonstration house in Ecolodgy grounds will remain for training of more villagers and NGO's.

Rotary sponsorship of this project will be acknowledged at the Ecolodgy site, and in all publications of the project. This may include academic Case Study on line worldwide  and in print, to governments, and NGO's , and Rotary publications.

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