On Saturday 26th September 2015 Temwa officially launched its newest project, Nkhata Bay Natural Way (NBNW) with a special launch event.
Staff, volunteers, village and district chiefs, partner organisations and community members all gathered to celebrate in the lakeside village of Usisiya. Held outside the Usisya Community Hall, built over ten years ago as one of Temwa’s first major achievements, it was a fitting venue to host the launch event for our biggest project to date.
Entertaining the crowds
We were delighted to have a variety of entertainment acts and speakers to lead the celebrations. The Mushunguti Lodge dancers opened with some traditional Malawian dancing, followed by original performances from local students and Temwa Peer Educators. It was an impressive display of song, dance and comedy communicating the importance of good forestry management and encouraging conservation of the environment; exactly what NBNW hopes to achieve.
The NBNW Project Manager, Benson Chiumia, said; “It has been a wonderful day at the event; I’m so happy to see so many people here. It is a great occasion to show the community what can be achieved, inspire them to take part and commit to sustainable agricultural and forestry practices.”
What we plan to achieve
Over the next four years while the project runs, we look forward to working with all members of the community, from villagers to government officials on the four main objectives:
- Improve food security and nutrition for disadvantaged households through the adoption of environmentally sustainable farming practices.
- Improve community stewardship of forest conservation and management, to promote tree planting, reforestation and fair and sustainable access to forest resources.
- Increase income for disadvantaged households through the establishment of forest-friendly businesses and micro-enterprises, supported by micro-loans and skills training.
- Strengthening the ability of local governance structures to advocate for sustainable natural resource management and livelihood choices at a district and national level.
The launch event enabled all those involved to meet and share ideas on how we can achieve these aims.
Mr Ivor Nyirenda, the Chairman of the Mbwana Area Development Committee, declared: “Investing in the Nkhata Bay Natural Way project will give the community the opportunity to address many of the challenges it faces, particularly with deforestation and changing weather patterns. Tree planting and forest conservation are hugely important in order to reduce the impact of soil erosion and improve water levels in the region. It will help us reclaim our land for agricultural production.”
A huge thanks to all those who helped and took part in the event. Exciting times await as the project progresses!