LEAD Southern & Eastern Africa.



Lake chilwa basin management trust(LCBMT) gets registered

Lake chilwa basin management trust(LCBMT) gets registered
The Lake Chilwa Basin Management Trust (LCBMT) was finally registered in March 2018 after a lengthy process that started late in 2016. The process started with a resolution made by the Programme Management Committee (PMC) that was later endorsed by the Programme Steering Committee (PSC) both for the Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme (LCBCCAP). This followed a series of stakeholder engagement meetings on refining and setting the ground for the mandate and roles the LCBMT will follow. The drive to have a LCBMT was envisaged after realising the need to synchronize and coordinate planning across sectors and groups in the Lake Chilwa basin, both at horizontal and vertical levels. There was a need to have a body that can institutionalize ecosystems approach and provide a platform for continued dialogue and action as it was noted that there is lack of coordination to improve natural resource management, livelihoods, environment, and climate change in the Lake Chilwa Basin.
The objectives of the LCBMT therefore are to:

  • Improve the capacity of local and district institutions to plan, implement and monitor integrated climate change adaptation for the Lake Chilwa Basin Coordinate the development of integrated management plans and their implementation for identified hotspots in the Lake Chilwa Basin
    • Reduce the vulnerability of Basin households through improved and diversified livelihoods and natural resource management
    • Promote the development of rural communities in the Lake Chilwa Basin through the promotion of education, infrastructure development and small scale enterprises aimed at alleviating household hunger and poverty.
    • Safeguard and advance the education and welfare of children (including orphans), women, the aged and persons with disability in the basin
    • Undertake activities aimed at preventing the spread and to ameliorate the suffering of those affected by cholera, malaria, bilharzia, HIV and AIDS and other communicable diseases and
    • Engage in fund raising activities and such other social activities aimed at empowering the Trust to fulfil its objectives.
    The registered Trustees for the LCBMT are Professor Sosten S. CHIOTHA, Dr Marlene CHIKUNI, Dr Clement CHILIMA, Dr Yanira NTUPANYAMA, Dr Daniel JAMU, Mrs Siphiwe MAUWA and Dr Estone SAMBO. Currently, the LCBMT is yet to meet to strategise on the way forward in a bid to achieve the set objectives.

BRECcIA Project to Support Evidence Based Policy Making in Malawi

LEAD SEA through Building Research Capacity for Sustainable Water and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcIA) project, is implementing a policy oriented research meant to address water and food challenges in dry lands. The project is being implemented in Malawi, Kenya and Ghana. Recently, Lead had a stakeholder workshop to co-design research projects in Salima. The workshop attracted a range of stakeholders from water, food and agriculture sector. I also involved policy makers, implementers and farmers. The stakeholders analysed water and food security challenges in drylands and water and food policies, identified drylands and came up with possible research questions that can help address water and food challenges in Malawi. This is one the few true participatory projects where by partners are actively involved even during the stage of developing the idea then designing the actual project

T learning 2

Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) partners with Rhodes University

Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) is partnering with Rhodes University to implement a three year (2016-2018) research project titled Transgressive Social Learning for Sustainability Transformations in Times of Climate Change (T-learning). The project is funded by the International Social Science Council and it takes place in nine countries including Malawi. Each of the nine countries has unpacked T-learning according to their prevailing climate change circumstances. For Malawi, the research is taking place in the Lake Chilwa Basin to assess the potential of local farming practices to transform business as usual climate change adaptation practices through informal learning pathways. The study subjects are women and the crop that the study focusses on is maize. So far, several T-learning processes and qualities have been identified that will potentially transform 13 local farming practices that the study has revealed. The processes identified manifest themselves as metaphors, social media primarily WhatsApp, thought experiments by local communities targeted, diversity blocks planted to various local crops chosen by local communities themselves and social networks to mention a few. Furthermore, the study has found that drought and dry spells are among the key catalysts of informal learning among rural communities. For example, use of banana root flour (as a coping strategy) in place of maize  was more prominent during drought years of 1949, 1995 and 2002 as reported by local  communities interviewed. The diagram below shows banana roots ground into flour used to prepare ‘nsima’, staple food instead of maize. Relish for the ‘nsima’ prepared from the flour is always okra (‘Therere’) shown as green stuff in a plate). Therere’ is slippery/jelly-like and this helps rapid swallowing since the nsima from banana flour is bitter


As a way of creating awareness about the project, LEAD has showcased the project at various international meetings including  a conference convened by Future Earth on a theme ‘the role of science society and the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa’ which took place in Port Elizabeth South Africa from 9th to 11th May 2018. Presented below are the attendees to the conference under the T-learning research.


Student Exchange visit to Germany

Three postgraduate students under the AFRICITY research project are on a student exchange visit to Institute of Geography, University of Erlangen-Nuernberg (FAU), Germany, the lead institution. The student exchange programme runs for four weeks and two masters’ students from University of Malawi, Chancellor College and one PhD student from LEAD registered with Rhodes University will leave for Germany in June 2018. The AFRICITY project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The research project is exploring the causes and effects of environmental change and resource use in Sub-Saharan African cities selected from Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa. Specifically, the project will consider the rapid social and economic transformation processes and their external and internal drivers, assess the barriers for potentials of social adaptability in the context of inequity, risk, resourcefulness and right to the city, all with an emphasis on their role, potential and governance of urban green infrastructure. For more details, log on to http://www.africity.fau.de/

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