What can I say about the country of Malawi? I can call
it a beautiful country, a very poor country, a country famous for its friendly
people - all these would be true. Look at the (brief) information contained on
this site, visit the link sites, but better still - go and visit the country yourself...
What you'll find on this page about Malawi.
Information about Malawi:
and this page features
some sample news-clippings
'borrowed' from local newspapers!
11 million (and rising)
|With a quarter of its total land mass taken up by its lakes,
Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. About 80% of
people still live in the villages, with the remaining 20% in the larger urban
areas of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Zomba. Indeed, Blantyre has an estimated 10% of
the population alone. |
Unlike many other African countries, it is difficult
to travel any distance without seeing some evidence of human dwellings. One per
cent of the population is non-European, coming from Asia or Europe.
Who is more curious about whom?
|Malawi is one of the smaller African nations
- some 900km long and between 80 and 160km wide. It neighbours Zambia to the west,
Tanzania to the north, and Mozambique which curls round the eastern side of Malawi.
The dominant feature of Malawi is Lake Malawi, an enormous lake - 12th largest
in the world, and 3rd largest in Africa - officially classified as an inland sea.
The lake lies in the deep trough formed by the southern portion of the African
Rift Valley as it runs through Malawi.
Mulanje Massif contains the highest
peak in Malawi (3000m), and lies in the south-eastern corner of Malawi. Other
high-lying areas include Zomba Plateau (2100m) in the south, and Nyika Plateau
(2600m) in the north. The lowest point in Malawi - and probably the hottest -
is the lower Shire Valley, which gets as low as only 37m above sea level (lower
than the lake)
The tropical climate consists of 3 seasons: the hot-wet (November
to April), cool-dry (May to August), and hot-dry (September to November). As with
most weather patterns around the world, the seasons seem to come later and later
each year. Temperatures vary from freezing (high altitudes) to 38oC (the lowest
|Malawi's wide range of climactic conditions
have lead to the development of such tropical and subtropical crops as maize,
tobacco, sugar, cotton, groundnuts, timber, tea, coffee, rubber. The quality of
tea and tobacco is world-class, and so these crops are the main ones used for
Tourism is another major earner of foreign exchange.
Much of the economy is based around subsistence farming
More Little Differences...
UK it's a frail sunshine engulfed by a pervasive murky grey; whilst here in Malawi
we have a vigorous gladiatorial sun: big, bright and burning!
UK I'm just an ordinary bloke; but over here I'm this rich mzungu - gold-filled
pockets, the finest clothes, the most exclusive of residences.
UK it's 4 to a taxi; but in the squashed, squeezed, hurly-burly of Malawi it's
always: "Room for 4 more!"
UK you say "OK?" to a stranger, your reply is a cold suspicious silence;
in The Warm Heart of Africa, a friendly greeting returns many happy retorts.
Date: July 1995
steal K42,000 worth of goods from MAP
thieves on Tuesday night broke into the Malawi Against Polio's (MAP) workshop
and got away with K42,000 worth of goods.
thieves, who were armed with [machetes], knives, guns, and stones, tied up the
guard before they broke into the general store.
ransacking the general store, the thieves broke into the workshop where they took
a grinding machine and other items.
of the staff members, who is housed at the workshop, Mr. Hussein Manduwa, said,
'When we tried to come out of our houses, the thieves scared us off by throwing
stones at us.'
concoction now forgotten ...
can the Machakas cure or prevent AIDS?
HIV/AIDS concoction is claimed to have been found by the union of Machakas at
Blantyre's Misesa location with much divine intervention, the family says.
drink is made from soaked roots from a tree only known for such administration
by Mr. and Mrs. Shadreck and Eluby Machaka, as disclosed to them separately in
their sleep by divine power.
who are only sceptical about their HIV status, one litre will be required while
those who are really sick need to complete a dosage of five litres of this Machaka
On side effects, the Machakas
said that they were told in their dreams that both the suspecting and the really
sick 'kind of open bowels to clean up the system' after which their immunity is
Mr. Machaka started getting
visions of Bible revelations from three years ago. 'In my dreams I could hear
a voice telling me to read Isaiah 33:2 which reads 'Lord, have mercy on us. We
have put our hope in you. Protect us day by day in times of trouble'
he was still reflecting on the visionary messages, divine power shifted approach
to his wife who saw a woman, all in white from head to toe, telling her that she
was chosen to bring delivery to all people suffering from AIDS and HIV-related
After being reprimanded
in another revelation for not taking heed and being covetous, they took steps
to have their finding laboratory-tested for the people's safety, but to no avail.
from Soche Police Station where they had been going for advice on how to handle
the matter, the Machakas believe it is high time they went ahead 'for divine power
is bothered by the delay'.
said this on payment: 'People will give according to what they have or if they
feel thus obliged.'
Mponda Mkandawire, said in parliament Friday that villagers around the area where
floods have damaged part of the main road to Mangochi were removing sand bags
meant to control the water.
said the local community around the area were doing so because they wanted floods
to continue as they got money in guiding motorists who wanted to pass through
the kilometre stretch of road which is immersed in water.
said the removal of materials meant to control the floods were hampering government's
efforts to have the road to the tourist attraction area usable.
reporter witnessed a villager demanding K50 from a motorist after the villager
helped push the former's vehicle when the villager deliberately misguided the
motorist to have his car stuck. After bargaining, the motorist paid K10 only.
who are also repairing the road voluntarily are forcefully demanding payment from
Date: April 1996
exacerbates the deforestation in Malawi
12, Mary 10 and Patuma 8 are girls often absent from free school as they engage
themselves in the collection of firewood, and vending around trading centres.
family, circumscribed by poverty, has no other choice in generating family funds
other than cutting down branches of trees to make ends meet.
has a deforestation rate of about 150,000 hectares per year, higher than in neighbouring
countries Zambia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. This makes fetching firewood a difficult
The three girls, accompanied
by their mother, spend about six hours in the bush to gather firewood. Normally,
they leave before sun breaks out and without any bite, for distant indigenous
forests. They eat once a day, mostly during evening hours.
following day, Susan, Mary and Patuma have to assist their mother in carrying
the pieces of wood to barter with maize flour and husks.
Susan, Mary and Patuna many intelligent girls are cramped by poverty form pursuing
Date: July 1996
Fined for Loitering
Five girls were
on Friday last week fined K50 each by the Soche Magistrate court for loitering
around the streets of Blantyre City at an odd hour.
five girls, aged between 16 and 20, were hauled into Blantyre police station under
the rogue and vagabond charge. Second Grade Magistrate Ramsay Chamba meted out
The court heard that on
July 10, constable Bunya arrested the five girls while on patrol at about 8.00
in the evening.
They all pleaded guilty
and had nothing to say in court. Magistrate Chamba fined them K50 each or in default
one month imprisonment. They all paid the fine.
Date: September 1996
Promoting Condoms ...
should stop promoting the use of condoms as a preventative measure against AIDS
if the country's eroded cultural values are to be reinstated by the year 2020.
observation was made by over 65 religious leaders in Mzimba Thursday during their
meeting with some Vision 2020 core members.
said government was promoting promiscuity by encouraging the use of condoms instead
of appealing to married people to remain faithful to their partners and unmarried
ones to abstain from sexual relationships until marriage.
leaders also condemned the wearing of trousers by women which they said was not
in line with Malawi's cultural values.
to their vision on development, they said all pastors' houses should have a phone
which would be useful in times of emergencies like funerals. They said many of
their dead members were being buried without church services because in most cases,
it had been difficult to inform pastors of the deaths.
Date: November 1996
TORCHED TO DEATH OVER CHICKEN
residents last Saturday joined the current spate of mob justice that has gripped
the country when they set ablaze a man police and onlookers only identified as
According to Alfred Moffat,
who witnessed the incident, Adamson broke into a chicken kraal belonging to Mr.
Mbewe at 10pm and stole one chicken.
Mbewe heard noises from the kraal he shouted for help and his neighbours came
quickly to his aid. They managed to corner Adamson.
mob did not hesitate emit a dose of justice on the spot. Adamson was savagely
beaten unconscious before being set ablaze.
Chileka Police Station was informed about the incident, they ordered the burial
of the remains of Adamson. Chileka Police confirmed the incident and added that
Adamson was a well known thief in the area.
system [of justice] started last year and the general public cited that torching
system was the best solution available to township residents caught up in a flurry
of heightened criminal activity.
claim that thieves handed over to the police do not stay long in police custody.
'When you hand over a thief to the police, and you go home, you find that the
thief is already home, free before his captor reaches home,' said a Chileka resident
when asked to comment.
Date: February 1997
NEED CARE TOO
long ago, the Government of Japan donated over a hundred ambulances equipped with
all the necessary facilities for the job. The Honourable Minister of Health and
Population, in many cases publicly presented these ambulances to hospitals or
health centres in person. I recall that there was jubilation and great happiness
at most of these occasions.
like Japan are friends to Malawi and the donation of ambulances and other such
vehicles cannot go without the country pronouncing its most sincere gratitude.
there is one thing that's worrying a lot of people. There was in one of the Lilongwe
garages two of these ambulances being serviced. The external body looked intact
and still beautiful, but it was shocking to see that the seats inside are damaged.
The seat covers are torn to shreds and the floor very dirty.
outside rear view mirrors were broken. It was unbelievable considering one of
the ambulances was hardly ten months old and had been handed over for field work
hardly six months before being towed to the garage for maintenance.
are some conclusions to make from this. The people entrusted to look after the
ambulances are unfortunately not doing their work. The drivers may not be taking
care of these vehicles by perhaps allowing passengers - sick or otherwise - to
sit anyhow and carry and luggage including firewood.
using these vehicles do not really seem to care. Why? One may ask. Malawians have
now somewhat grown careless and [are] not really taking care of what has been
given to them even if it is for their own benefit.
countries who are friendly to Malawi donate some of these equipments like ambulances
not because we are poor but because they believe Malawi would look after them.
It is, therefore, an appeal to all of us that the state of ambulances seen at
a servicing garage in Lilongwe should not be the rule but an exception.
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