The Imago Foundation - Build a school in Malawi

by Rotary Club of Cannock
The Imago Foundation - Build a school in Malawi
The Imago Foundation - Build a school in Malawi
The Imago Foundation - Build a school in Malawi
The Imago Foundation - Build a school in Malawi
The Imago Foundation - Build a school in Malawi
The Imago Foundation - Build a school in Malawi

Project Report | Apr 24, 2024
Malawi declares 'State of Disaster'

By Hanna-Louise King | CEO

Guttering drains the rainwater into the banana pit
Guttering drains the rainwater into the banana pit

Malawi, a nation heavily reliant on agriculture, faces a growing challenge: climate change. Erratic weather patterns are leading to both devastating droughts and intense flooding, jeopardising food security and livelihoods.

The situation is dire. Malawi has declared a state of disaster in a staggering 23 out of the country's 28 districts. President Lazarus Chakwera announced on 23rd March that 2 million farming households have been affected by the El Niño-induced dry spells and subsequential floods, and are in need of food assistance. Their staple crop, maize, has been totally destroyed in many areas, ushering in a ‘season of starvation’.

These events expose the vulnerability of Malawi's traditional farming practices. A more sustainable approach is crucial.

Permaculture offers a promising solution. This ecological design system focuses on creating self-sustaining, low-maintenance agricultural ecosystems. By mimicking natural patterns, permaculture helps to:

  • Conserve water: Techniques like rainwater harvesting and swales capture and store precious water, mitigating drought effects.
  • Improve soil health: Practices like mulching and cover cropping help retain moisture, prevent erosion, and promote beneficial microbes in the soil.
  • Increased diversity: Planting a variety of crops, including drought-resistant and flood-tolerant species, creates a more resilient food system.

In fact, this aligns perfectly with the mission of The Imago Foundation. Over the last two months, our charity has been actively working towards our environmental objectives:

  • To improve individual and community livelihoods, health and nutrition through permaculture.
  • To protect & regenerate the natural environment.

We've been on the ground making a difference through several key activities:

  • Planting a wide variety of native trees - This includes species that provide food for the community, promoting biodiversity and a sustainable food source.
  • Soil Replenishment and Erosion Control - We understand the threat of soil erosion during both droughts and floods. That's why we've been planting vetiver grass and lemongrass to hold the soil in place and prevent slippage.
  • Plant Nursery and Community Plant Sharing - As our plant nursery grows we plan to become a hub for establishing a strong foundation for permaculture practices. We cultivate a variety of plants and share them with local communities, empowering them to grow their own food and improve their environment. Crops like bananas and sugarcane are a focus, as they consume a high amount of water during heavy rains and also produce offspring plants that we can readily share with community members. Also ground cover plants like pumpkin can protect their staple crop, maize, during periods of drought whilst providing essential nutrition.
  • Composting -  Instead of relying on expensive fertilisers, especially during drought and flood seasons that hurt harvests, we can help people create their own nutrient-rich compost for free using food waste, garden/field waste and ash from cooking stoves. This homemade fertiliser not only saves money but also improves soil health, leading to stronger crops better equipped to handle harsh weather conditions.

We believe that permaculture can be a powerful tool to empower Malawian communities and build resilience in the face of climate change.




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Dec 28, 2023
Waiting on 'The Rains Down in Africa'

By Hanna-Louise King | CEO

Sep 4, 2023
Inspiration behind The Imago Foundation

By Hanna King | CEO

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Organization Information

Rotary Club of Cannock

Location: Ashbourne, Derbyshire - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
David Marklew
Ashbourne , Derbyshire United Kingdom

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