Malawi has many challenges. The population is growing and people need wood for warmth, cooking, burning bricks, building. And for all these, there are so little alternatives. This picture shows the burning of bricks with wood from the area from where we get our water. This has been going on for years and the last few years they and we are suffering the consequences. Because of the cutting of trees, the soil does contain less and less water and at the moment our rivier is drying up halfway the dry season. The 55 communal taps in our system are not providing water any more. We do our very best: recently we have put almost a kilometer pipe upstream to bring water down from where it is still flowing. And probably we have to bring in more pipes. Because the first rains will not come before half December.
With cooperation of the Government the area around the river has been declared “Protected Area”. But it will take time and self-control of the local population to allow nature to restore its function. This will prove to be difficult: there are so few acceptable and payable alternatives for wood. Let’s hope and pray….