We work in the Nkhata Bay North district of Malawi – one of the poorest countries in the world. Nkhata Bay North is a very remote area on the edge of Lake Malawi, comprising 145 villages which are home to around 45,000 people. Most people live in a large, flat lakeside area, although there are also some villages in the upland mountain range. Overall, the region is extremely isolated and receives little government help.
Some of the main problems facing communities are:
- a chronic shortage of food, often with periods of starvation;
- high rates of HIV and AIDS;
- limited access to basic education;
- deforestation, which causes flooding and displacement;
- only one hospital in the region, which lacks fundamental equipment, staff and medicine;
- very few roads and limited access to transport;
- limited employment opportunities.