- Cholera Outbreak in Blantyre
African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)
May 13, 2003
Posted to the web May 14, 2003
Malawi's health authorities have stepped up efforts to contain a
cholera outbreak within it commercial capital of Blantyre.
The water borne disease surfaced three weeks ago and has infected eight
people and killed one in three area that receive clean water from the
state, namely the medium density area of Naperi, and the high density
areas of Zingwangwa and Manase.
Health officer for the Blantyre district, Elita Kamoto, blames the
outbreak on the Blantyre Water Board, which cut the water supply to
residents who hadn't paid bills.
Affected residents have been forced to collect water from streams.
Health department director for the city, Lester Bandawe, said he
couldn't be sure the water board was to blame, but said 75 percent of
residents in the areas had access to "what may be considered safe
water." A water board inspector confirmed water had been cut in the
affected areas and that more disconnections were expected as a result of
Preventative health director in the health ministry, Habib Somanje,
expressed concern at the fatality.
He said one death in less than eight cholera cases was high.
He said the fatality standard set by the World Health Organisation's
(WHO) was only one death per 100 cases.
Foot And Mouth Outbreak in Southern Malawi
African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)
May 13, 2003
Posted to the web May 14, 2003
The Malawi government has banned all meat from the the Lower Shire
Valley in southern Malawi following an outbreak of foot and mouth
disease among cattle.
Grey Matita, field service director in the department of animal health
in the agriculture ministry said some 350 head of cattle were diagnosed
with the disease by last week.
There are about 6 000 cattle in the affected region.
An alert has been issued to neighbouring countries about the outbreak
and meat from the area has been banned until the situation is
Matita said that although foot and mouth disease does not affect
people, it causes havoc in the dairy and cattle farming industry because
infected cows cannot produce milk while work oxen suffer sore joints and
Matita said samples of the virus had been sent to laboratories in
Botswana and South Africa to determine what vaccine to use to contain
"We are hopeful that the situation will be contained in a few weeks,"
The ban is affecting business.
Esa Arab of E&M Halaal Meat which supplies meat to a number of
butcheries and institutions in the country, said the company had been
forced to cut its supplies to 25 percent of normal supply because of the
He said the ban was forcing butcheries in the Lower Shire Valley to
source beef from further afield like the central district of Ntcheu, at
Bario Khoko, a cattle farmer from Chikwawa - where the outbreak was
first discovered - warns that the local cattle industry faces collapse,
but Wilfred Lipita, director of the animal health department, says
without the ban, the entire country's meat industry was at risk. -
ECN-African Eye News Service
Malawi Increases Free Farm Inputs Beneficiaries
Malawi Standard (Blantyre)
May 10, 2003
Posted to the web May 12, 2003
By Paul Kang fombe
Malawi Government has increased the number of winter cropping programme
beneficiaries from 300,000 to 400,000 in its endeavour to ensure food
security in rural households.
According to the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and food security
and the department for international development (DFID), the total
numbers of 847,034 beneficiaries were identified at national level.
However, the demand could not be met due to lack of seeds.
gAn exercise was carried out within the Logistic Unit [in the
Ministry of Agriculture] to determine the district allocation, this was
a straight forward case of reducing the district demand by the same
percentage required to reduce the national demand of 847,034 to 400,000
that could be supported by the resources, h the Logistic office said
in the Winter TIP Update Newsletter.
The Logistic Unit states that each bag of TIP would contain 5
kilogrammes of Urea, 2 kilogrammes of OPV maize and 1kilogramme of
gRegistration of the beneficiaries or farm families with access to
dambo gardens or irrigation ended in March. The Logistics office has
since printed vouchers and distributed them through Agricultural
Development Divisions (ADD), h The Newsletter states.
The Logistics Unit further disclosed that 526 metric tonnes of OPV
maize were purchased out of a total of the required 800 metric tonnes.
The seeds came from the one fs produced through contracts financed by
DFID during last year fs winter season.
gThe balance of OPV maize required is scheduled to be supplied via a
contract with the Association of Small holder Seed multiplication Action
Group (ASSMAG), this balance has to be delivered to Kanengo in Lilongwe
and Dowa for distribution. The distribution in the two areas is
scheduled to start on May 20, 2003.
The office said a total of 400 metric tonnes of beans are required.
Transglobe Produce Export Limited will supply 367 metric tones and CP
Feeds Limited will supply 38 metric tonnes for the Northern Region.
gOne of the possible area where problems could arise is the delay in
clearance by the Ministry of Agriculture crop testing department at
Chitedze. Most of the beans have passed the germination exercise and are
now being sorted to satisfy the purity standards, h the Logistics
Distribution of bags started on 29th April out of Liwonde ADMARC with
10,784 bags to commence the programme in Zomba, Machinga and Ntcheu
districts. In addition on 30th April 3,322 bags and 1,542 bags went to
Phalombe and Nsanje districts, respectively.
The Winter TIP programme that is being undertaken by the Ministry of
Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security in collaboration with
stakeholders such as the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a repeat
of last year fs attempt to ensure food security in Malawi.
Canadian Firm to Build Nacala-Liwonde Petroleum Pipeline
Malawi Standard (Blantyre)
May 10, 2003
Posted to the web May 12, 2003
By Brian Ligomeka
President Bakili Muluzi is taking all the practical steps for Malawians
to benefit from the Nacala Development Corridor. Just few months after
unveiling government's plan of building a petroleum pipeline from the
northern Mozambican port of Nacala to Liwonde in Machinga, a Canadian
firm, DiamondWorks Limited, has already signed a Memorumdum of
Understanding with the government to construct the pipeline.
At the end of this year's Nacala Corridor Investor' Conference that was
held in the Mozambican town of Nampula, President Muluzi emphasised the
importance of Malawi having its own Petroleum pipeline.
"If we build a pipeline from Nacala to Liwonde, we will successfully
lower the transport costs of fuel, and this definitely will also lower
the price of fuel," said Muluzi.
Muluzi further explained that the construction of such a pipeline would
reduce transport costs of fuel, thereby ensuring that fuel would be
readily available in the country.
Currently, the bulk of Malawi's fuel moves on road transport in tankers
from South African and Tanzanian ports.
According to a press release issued by DiamondWorks Limited of Canada
the constructin of the pipeline will be done by its wholly-owned
subsidiary, Petroplus Africa.
"PetroPlus Africa has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)
to seek out financing and arrange for the construction of an oil
pipeline and ancillary storage facilities in the Republic of Malawi,"
reads part of the release.
Upon obtaining initial financing commitments for the Projects,
Petroplus shall be appointed to arrange and provide fuel supplies and
petroleum products to Malawi. The agreement has been entered into by
Petroplus with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental
Affairs of the Government of the Republic of Malawi.
The agreement grants Petroplus the exclusive right for a period of 6
months from the effective date to carry out the due diligence necessary
to arrange financing for the construction of approximately 400
kilometres of pipeline from Nacala, in Mozambique, to Liwonde in
Machinga district, a town located in Malawi between the two principal
cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.
"The storage facilities are to be of sufficient capacity for at least
two months feedstock requirements for Malawi or in aggregate
approximately 60,000 tonnes of refined oil products. In the event a
financing commitment is secured by Petroplus during the initial 6 month
period, the MOU will be automatically extended for an indefinite
The Memorandum of Understanding may be terminated upon 30 days notice,
subject to certain conditions related to reimbursement of expenses,"
reads the Press Release in part.
Petroplus would work closely on the due diligence and financing
proposal with Petroplus International Marketing FZCO (Petroplus
International), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petroleum International
N.V., one of Europe's leading midstream oil companies and tank storage
operators publicly-listed in the Netherlands.
Petroplus International is responsible for the procurement and
financing of crude oil and certain refined products on behalf of
DiamondWorks and is also the supplier of petroleum products to Otterbea
International under its Zambian crude oil contract. Discussions with
various financing institutions are relatively advanced and the Company
has received positive initial reactions from ABSA Bank and other
The statement says the DiamondWorks views this arrangement with the
Government of Malawi as a significant milestone in applying the
strategic advantages developed in its Zambian supply contract to
leverage the Company's position as a financier and provider of
infrastructure and related commodities for the nations of Africa.
DiamondWorks Limited is a Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange that holds interests in extensive diamond projects in Sierra
Leone, Angola and the Central African Republic and through its
subsidiaries, specializes in procurement and logistics into the African
The Company maintains a substantial infrastructure throughout
sub-Sahara Africa and provides comprehensive services to the mining and
other industries, including transportation, warehousing, procurement,
sales and distribution of essential equipment, supplies and a variety of
Poor Health Blamed On Low Nutritive Foods
The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)
May 13, 2003
Posted to the web May 13, 2003
The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) says Malawi has a high
infant mortality rate because of micronutrient deficiency such as
anaemia since Malawians generally consume foods which have very low
Speaking during the inauguration of the 'Report on a Micronutrient
Survey' at Capital Hotel last Wednesday, the Technical Adviser in the
ministry Dr. Wesley Sangala said Malawi has tremendous problems of
micronutrient deficiency because of an inadequate supply of food and a
poor health environment.
'People get low salaries from the work they do and cannot afford to buy
foods which add vitamins to food that are required by our bodies,' said
Sangala adding: 'People can't afford to buy a bottle of cooking oil.'
However, the MoHP in collaboration with World Vision International
through the Micronutrient and Health Program has introduced ways of
fortifying maize flour by adding supplementary vitamins during the
milling process at maize mills.
Meanwhile, the Ministry through Micronutrient and Health Program has
planted 12 maize mills that add supplementary vitamins into maize flour
in different parts of the country namely Chiradzulu in the south,
Ikwendeni in the north and Kabudula as well as Area 25 in Lilongwe
Theresa Banda, deputy director of the Clinical and Population Services
(nutrient) in the MoHP said poor preparation of food creates a loss of
'We want to ensure that people get a balanced diet in the maize flour
that they consume. People lose nutrients from maize by taking away the
maize husks and by soaking the dehusked maize in water for a long period
causing the food nutrients to be washed away,' pointed out Banda.
She said the ministry is sensitising owners of maize mills in the
country to cater for this need by having facilities that could help them
in adding supplementary vitamins to maize flour.
Besides, the MoHP has since the year 2000 provided supplementary
vitamin A to children who are under five years of age and to pregnant
women two to four months before they deliver. This is done in various
health centres country wide.
The MoHP has also targeted the elimination of Vitamin A and Iodine
deficiencies by the year 2005.
However, the ministry is concerned about the higher rate of iodine
deficiency in the southern region which is reported to be greater than
that of the northern region, according to the report. The delegates at
the inauguration ceremony attribute this to the fact that the people in
the southern region obtain their salt on the black market from
Mozambique. Many manufacturers of salt in Mozambique do not iodise their
product which is different from that which comes in through the northern
region. Salt from this source is iodised from plants in Tanzania.
- But good info for my childhoods class which will be doing projects on child labor. Maybe having the info will spur people to change things. I still hold out hope...How's the home solar project??KCOn Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 9:26 AM, Christine Chumbler <wartpiggy@...> wrote:
Nothing to be proud of here, I'm afraid.
Malawi's child tobacco pickers 'poisoned by nicotine'Aug 24 2009 07:05Children in Malawi who are forced to work as tobacco pickers are exposed to nicotine poisoning equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day, an investigation has found.
Child labourers as young as five are suffering severe health problems from a daily skin absorption of up to 54mg of dissolved nicotine, according to the international children's organisation Plan.
Malawian tobacco is found in the blend of almost every cigarette smoked in the West. The low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco is often used as a filler by manufacturers, reflecting a long-term global shift in production.
Tobacco farms in America declined by 89% between 1954 and 2002. Three-quarters of production has migrated to developing countries, with Malawi the world's fifth biggest producer.
Seventy percent of its export income comes from tobacco and the country is economically dependent on it.
Plan cites research showing that Malawi has the highest incidence of child labour in Southern Africa, with 88,9% of five to 14-year-olds working in the agricultural sector. It is estimated that more than 78 000 children work on tobacco estates -- some up to 12 hours a day, many for less than 1p an hour and without protective clothing.
Plan's researchers invited 44 children from tobacco farms in three districts to take part in a series of workshops. They revealed a catalogue of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and spoke about the need to work to support themselves and their families and pay school fees.
The children reported common symptoms of green tobacco sickness (GTS), or nicotine poisoning, including severe headaches, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, coughing and breathlessness.
"Sometimes it feels like you don't have enough breath, you don't have enough oxygen," one child said. "You reach a point where you cannot breathe because of the pain in your chest. Then the blood comes when you vomit. At the end, most of this dies and then you remain with a headache."
GTS is a common hazard of workers coming into contact with tobacco leaves and absorbing nicotine through their skin, particularly when harvesting. It is made worse by humid and wet conditions, which are prevalent in Malawi, as residual moisture on the leaves helps nicotine to be absorbed quicker.
Everyday symptoms of GTS are more severe in children than adults as they have not built up a tolerance to nicotine through smoking and because of their physical size. There is a lack of research into the long-term effects of GTS in children, but experts believe that it could seriously impair their development.
Neal Benowitz, professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences at California University in San Francisco, said: "Numerous animal studies have shown that administration of nicotine during infancy and adolescence produces long-lasting changes in brain structure and function, as well as behavioural changes that are not seen when nicotine is administered to adults.
"The brain of a child or adolescent is particularly vulnerable to adverse neurobehavioural effects of nicotine exposure."
Plan called on Malawi's government to enforce existing child labour and protection laws and on plantations to provide safer, fairer working conditions for those children forced to work. It demanded that multinational tobacco companies scrutinise their suppliers far more closely and follow their own corporate responsibility guidelines.
Macdonald Mumba, Plan Malawi's child rights adviser, said: "This research shows that tobacco estates are exploiting and abusing children who have a right to a safe working environment.
"Plan is calling for better enforcement of child labour laws and harsher punishment for employers who break them. These children are risking their health for 11p a day." - guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2009
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