The Chinansi Foundation


Malawi has agricultural based economy and its GNP and GDP entirely depend on such. For it to produce more it has to have well conserved nature that would in turn aid it. More recently due to many factors affecting the global Village environmentally, Malawi has not been an exception. Most of the trees are cut down and rivers are drying up leaving rural farmers in a very hopeless situation. Balaka is one of the districts in the South Eastern part of Malawi where erratic rainfall is always an experience. Not much is been produced there to keep farmers through out the year. This is so because the district is prone to dry spell due to its geographical position. Farmers in this district have turned against nature by either extracting lime stone and/or cutting down trees for the charcoal business. According to statistics about 98% on people in the district use fuel wood and most of the charcoals sold in the cities of Blantyre and Zomba are produced  in Balaka'.This trend has made it necessary for the people in the district to have interventions that would help in rehabilitating the environment. CHINANSI therefore has designed the project called CHINANSI Environmental Conservation Project [CHECOP] to empower the rural people with skills and knowledge in conserving environment and mitigating the effects of Climate Change.

This project aims at promoting holistic approach of communities’ involvement in environmental management through natural resources management, sustainable agriculture and socio-economical development. In the project over 15,000 households from 12 villages of Zammimba,Liwawadzi,Pilitu,Sawali,Kabota,Pyoli,Msiyamanda,James,Kainga,Mkomera,Mpezeni and Mthumba are trained and equipped with knowledge and skills in tree planting, compost manure making, fish farming, bee keeping and rain water harvesting. The project has established the village structures called the Village Natural Resources Management Committees [VNRMC’s] and trained over 240 lead farmers who are further training other farmers in the identified 12 communities.3 water tanks have been constructed at Kabota, Liwawadzi and Msiyamanda and 4 fish ponds have been constructed in four villages. The project has also distributed over 180 bee hives for honey production to 12 communities. Out of the project farmers are able to re-plant trees that were cut down carelessly and re-afforestation is being promoted. Soils have been improved through manure making and increased crop production. The project aims at empowering farmers to generate income through honey and fish selling and is able to irrigate crops and make use of the harvested waters domestically. With literature from the Center for Agricultural and Rural Corporation [CTA] where CHINANSI is a member, farmers are been assisted with user-friendly technologies. A resource Centre is being established at CHINANSI which would be used by farmers to advance these agricultural and environmental capacities.

CHECOP does among others:-

  • Training of farmers in agro forestry
  •  Training and Construction of Rain Water Harvesting
  • Training and Construction of Fish Ponds
  • Training of Farmers in Compost Manure Making
  • Training of farmers in locally available technologies in food processing
  • Training of farmers in energy saver stoves that use little fuel wood

 Project Duration:       3 years (May 2009 to April 2012)

 Funded By:                 Malawi Environmental Endowment Trust [MEET