This week we’re traveling to Malawi. If you’re unsure where exactly in Africa Malawi is located, here’s a map:
Before getting to the current news, here is a bit of an introduction to Malawi through a YouTube video. It’s about 10 minutes long and you’ll get to hear a screaming goat, among probably more important things.
There’s a Part Two to this video so if you click on the button to view on YouTube, that should lead you to it. BTW this is going to be a bit of a video heavy post because there are SO MANY VIDEOS I want to share. I’ve tried, but I really don’t want to cut any out. I can’t do it. Malawi ended up being so fascinating.
Now, what’s been happening recently? News from the past week:
From Face2Face Africa: UNICEF has launched its first African humanitarian drone testing corridor in Malawi. It’s also the first of its kind globally.
The corridor, which is meant to test the effectiveness of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be used in humanitarian emergencies and other development uses, was launched Thursday at Kasungu Aerodrome, some 100 km from Lilongwe, the capital.
They have already tested using drones to transfer infant blood samples for HIV testing and also during flooding when drones were used to send aerial footage of damage to emergency responders.
Here is an example from UNICEF of drone footage from Mkwaila village on Thursday February 9, 2017.
A couple of other things these drones can do is carry wifi signals to remote areas and transport lightweight emergency supplies.
The UAV corridor, which is still in the early stages of development, will run for at least one year until June 2018. UNICEF is currently working with global partners and governments to explore how drones can be used in low-income countries.
From Wisconsin State Farmer:
A collaborative effort between students of biology and business at Lakeland University and a recent graduate of that university from Malawi to build an aquaponics facility in the country of Malawi.
Patrick Tembwe graduated from Lakeland University in 2004, but is back to work on his MBA and is motivated to make a difference in his country.
Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste from farmed fish supplies nutrients to soil-less plants grown hydroponically. The facilities produce vegetables and fish for consumption.
Tembwe and four Lakeland students are learning how to operate the system through a partnership with Lake Orchard Aquaponics, an aquaponics facility north of Sheboygan.
The group of students working on the project will be traveling to Malawi, where this facility will be the first of its kind, on July 28th.
Tembwe plans to grow tomatoes, lettuce, onions, kale and other vegetables to sell at markets, along with chambo, a tilapia-like species of fish.
In addition to selling the produce, Tembwe said he also plans to supply a nearby orphanage with healthy vegetables and fish.
I was looking for news stories about Malawi on YouTube and while at first I didn’t find any, I found this video about a Malawian bridal shower that’s part of a bride-to-be vlog. It might be set in Australia? While not news, I’m sharing it to throw in some culture, different lifestyles, etc. If you go to the bride’s channel, it’s has more wedding preparation videos. Quite nice!
But enough of getting sidetracked, I kept up my news search! This next bit is the last news story I have to share. This is about UNICEF treating malnutrition in Malawi. If you’ve made it this far in my post, watch this video and then go to UNICEF Malawi’s YouTube channel. UNICEF is doing good things there!
When 3 year old Maness got sick and started losing weight, superstitious neighbours concluded that this was a result of her father’s promiscuity. Weeks later a Health Surveillance Assistant diagnosed it as severe acute malnutrition and she is now recovering thanks to life saving support made possible by funding from Government of Japan through UNICEF.
I am not entirely sure where to go to for next week’s news post, but I’m thinking Kenya because it’s the Great Migration time of year and I just watched #SafariLIVE on Nat Geo.