Our Stories | Malawi

Last updated: May 03, 2019

May 3, 2019

It is a question that needs to be asked while reasonable solutions are still within reach. Between 2004 and 2017, Malawi lost an estimated 1.7 percent of its forest cover every year, and according to Zacharia Magombo, Principal Scientific Officer at the National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens of Malawi, the demand for fuel wood will exceed the number of trees that can be regenerated in the country’s forests, farms and tree plantations within the next five years. As more and more trees are cut down to meet fuel and construction needs, deforestation is leading to increased soil erosion, more flood and drought events, and reduced crop productivity. Using firewood and charcoal for cooking fuel is the number one driver of deforestation, as 90 percent of Malawians do not have electrical power or other sources of energy with which to cook.

May 3, 2019

USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has released an additional $550,000 (MK 400 million) to support ongoing flood relief efforts in some of the most heavily impacted districts in the south. USAID implementing partners CARE and CRS will use these funds to support farmers who lost crops during the floods by procuring maize seeds and sweet potato vines, which will then be distributed at seed fairs. During these seed fairs, farmers can share information with one another and also pursue basic agricultural technical assistance.

April 4, 2019

USAID Supports Government of Malawi Flood Response - USAID has mobilized nearly $4 million to support flood response and recovery through interventions in the education, agriculture/food security, and health sectors. Immediately following President Mutharika’s declaration of a State of Disaster due to heavy rains and flooding in the south of Malawi, the U.S. Embassy sought and received $200,000 (approximately MK 146,000,000) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

April 4, 2019

In many ways, Malawi’s future is a race against time. With a current fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman, Malawi’s population of 17.5 million will double to 35 million by 2040, if fertility remains steady. If this comes to pass, it is difficult to imagine how the Government of Malawi (GoM) can achieve its education, health, and economic development goals. There will simply be too many citizens for Malawi’s growing systems to absorb. If the fertility rate remains at 4.4 children per woman, for example, the resulting population growth would mean that in 2050, Malawi will need 6,936 more schools than if the fertility rate were 2.3 children per woman.

February 13, 2019

Fish stocks in Malawi’s lakes are under enormous pressure, primarily from overfishing. To combat this, the USAID FISH project is empowering local Beach Village Committees to develop and run fish sanctuaries in coordination with Malawi’s Department of Fisheries. Twenty months after this effort began, a fish-stock survey demonstrates that the average number of species present increased from 8.2 to 13.5 (a jump of 65%) in surveyed regions, while the diversity index increased by 23% in all lakes

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