Scramble for toilets in cities

  As the raging cholera outbreak enters urban settings, Malawians in populous parts of cities and towns could be sitting on a time bomb. In the thick of Ndirande Township in Blantyre, silent scrambles for pit latrines pan out as multiple families share a single latrine. Regina Afiki, 42, and her seven children have no…

PP downfall continues

  It is almost four years since People’s Party (PP) founder Joyce Banda lost the presidency to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika in May 2014 Tripartite Elections. The humiliating defeat in which Banda came third not only pushed the country’s first female president out of the State House. She left the country. Ever…

Gains in mother to child HIV transmission

In 1999, Malawi was at a peak in the mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. This coincided with the rate of new adult infections the same year.  About 27 000 babies acquired HIV from their mothers, National Aids Commission (NAC) says. Thirty-seven-year-old Matilda Phiri (not real name) from Namitete Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalolo…

‘Govt is suppressing civil society’s space’

The Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition last week decried threats from the government machinery to silence voices geared at holding authorities accountable. The forum is made up of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Centre for Development of People (Cedep), Malawi Law Society and other civil cociety organisations (CSOs. Our reporter AYAMI MKWANDA caught…

Journey to hard-to-reach Neno

With a population of about 170 000, Neno district has no tarmac roads. Never mind that it was declared as a district in 2002 by Malawi second president Bakili Muluzi, you still have to strangle to get through to the boma. To reach Neno, there are several routes; from Neno Turn-off on the Blantyre-Mwanza Road,…

Life swap experience

What happens when you take a Ntcheu farmer in Malawi to Essex, United Kingdom (UK)? What happens when you take an overworked British businessman to be a farmer in Malawi? This is what happens in the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) life swap adventure documentary, aired in the UK in May and Malawi on December 7…

Protect people with disabilities in MJ—Fedoma

Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) has urged group village heads from traditional authorities (T/As) Njema and Chikumbu in Mulanje District to protect people with disabilities from violence. The traditional leaders gathered at Muloza and Mulanje Mission primary schools where committees representing people with disabilities engaged them on the escalating cases of violence against…

Making strides in child HIV prevention

Yesterday, December 1, Malawi joined the rest of the world in commemorating of the World Aids Day. Among other areas that the country has performed well in the fight against Aids is the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMCTC). Our staff reporter AYAMI MKWANDA caught up with Karen Msiska, National Aids Commission (NAC) Corporate Services and…

CSOs push for Electoral Reform Bills

  Civil society organisations (CSOs) led by Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) have pledged to continue pushing government to table the Electoral Reforms and Political Parties bills in Parliament. The CSOs held a meeting in Mangochi on Saturday where they banged heads over the missing of the bills on order papers of the current Parliament…

Shemu Joyah’s movie impresses fans

  Shemu Joyah’s award-winning movie Road to sunrise received a warm welcome in Blantyre on Saturday at its premiere at Robin’s park where crowds thronged the auditorium. At around 5pm, there was only Joyah and a few men working on the stage in the auditorium but come 6pm, cars started coming. From them embarked ladies…

Tearing cities brick by brick

  What will it take to make our cities resilient to frequent urban disasters? Certainly, the answer does not lie in making bricks thicker. Bulky or not, bricks are opening up pits and baring grounds that expose cities to catastrophes. Visiting populous townships of Blantyre, we saw how brick-makers are depleting soil along rivers and…

Slums grow as councils snore

  Risky slums are expanding contrary to time-honoured by-laws and policies, our reporters AYAMI MKWANDA and JOHN CHIRWA write. In Blantyre, Soche Hill towers into the sky. Walking up the hill stripped of trees, the uncertainties of slum dwellers on the steep slopes personify silent, but ever-growing scrambles for land as urban populations keep rising.…

NGO partners pupils in trachoma fight

  Amref Health Africa says pupils can be good agents in trachoma fight who can influence teachers and parents to practise proper sanitation to prevent the spread of the disease. Amref Mangochi district project assistant Petros Kamanga observed that trachoma remains high in the country, especially in the district due to poor hygiene practices. He…

Season of jacarandas

Once again all roads lead to Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) and Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC). Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) is in town again, but this time dominated by an art exhibition. Surprised? BAF comes to Blantyre in the season of jacaranda blossoming flowers—October. This year BAF run from October 6 to 8. As the trees…