Every Home For Christ transforms Rumphi, Karonga villages
By Muyanga Ziba
Agricultural Officials of the Karonga Agricultural Division were
surprised this year to see green maize (corn) in an area with Sundaysoils.
The area has had persistent hunger for a long time. They were told it was Every Home for Christ, commonly known as EHC which had entered thevillage.
Arrival of the Project Coordinator in Chighali village in
Rumphi , Northern Malawi signifies that the organisation had madeimpact. Children wave at him and although his trip had not been announced beforehand, many people come from all directions to see what he had brought for them.
This time they have come with a journalist who is eager
to hear their success story which could help others realise their
“Every Home for Christ has short as well as long term
plans. They gave us fertilizers as a short term plan and they have
taught us how to make organic fertlizers as a long term plan to eradicate hunger. That is the reason why you see every household has enough maize,” said Kajame Mhango secretary of the village project committee.
He says people in the area have started using organic fertilizers made from local materials found in the area.
It is the self sufficiency of the area that had attracted the
journalist to hear their success story.
Kaijame says EHC gave people fertilizer when they saw that most
people could not understand how to make organic fertilizers during their first year but encouraged them to use locally made organic fertilizers in the consecutive years.
“For the first time in years people have enough food. We are now
having a food bank which stores surplus food after selling part of
it,” he says.
He said his village has started a village account with Malawi Savings
Bank saying at present there is over K11,000 (over 80usd).He
attributes to the Christian approach of EHC.
Although they have harvested enough , the knowledge of farmers showed that EHC has to stay for a while in the area to ensure farmers do not abandon the modern methods after EHC leaves the area.Most non governmental organisations had come in the area, taught them modern methods but farmers abandoned them after some years due to lack of encouragement by extension farmers.
“They do not want to profiteer from us. Rather they came to help us. After harvest some non governmental organisations want their moneys. These people just want to ensure that even the poorest of the poor in the villager has something to eat,” he said.
He said it is in this vain that the surplus is helping the
vulnerable, the orphans as well as the elderly.
“Another interesting thing is that cohesion among us is easy now. I
think they have taught us Christianity in a practical way, he said.
“EHC has opened this area. Do you know that uranium has been
discovered just over there? It is because EHC came here and opened the
of the government. Where was government all these years?” said the
chairman of the local group Reuben Mhango pointing at a mountain few
kilometers away .He came a bit late as he was way.
He says the surplus from harvest has created a spirit of ownership as
it is stored in the food bank saying maize seed for the coming season
is also stored.
The area which is just along Lake Malawi and surrounded by
Livingstonia plateau has the potential to have irrigation farming. In
this vain the organisation has provided them with tredal pumps and watering cans.
People have also been given fruit trees to plant.
He, however, pleads with the government to extend the irrigation
channel which is metres away from the village saying it would
efforts of EHC.
Government is constructing a channel that would help irrigation of
crops in the areas.
What is interesting is the fact that some Christina organisation came in the area but left with little impact as poverty for people was not
The group also learns that EHC has also given them watering cans for winter cropping and fruit trees to plant.
EHC is also teaching people abstinence from immoral behaviour and the word of God.
It is time to leave for another place. People are reluctant. They
feel they have not the journalist not all the things. Hey tell him to
As we travel in the scorching sun , green maize can be seen in the distance as we are near Chinombo another area where EHC is operating from. John Nkhoma, the lead farmer in this village tells the group organic fertilizers have worked miracles for them.
“These crops were applied with inorganic fertilizzers while these others were applied with organic fertilizers,” he tells the group while showing leaves of two groups of the crops.
The group sees that the green maize applied with inorganic fertilizers have started withering with the scorching sun while the ones applied by organic fertilizers are withstanding the heat.
They also observe that the soil is a bit damp and loose, compared
with those that have been applied with inorganic fertilizers.
Nkhoma says it is because of these factors that other farmers have started application of inorganic fertilizers including in most areas where EHC is not operating.
According to Nkhoma they mix ashes, soil, leaves ,cow dung as well as maize husks, they add water and put them in bags for them to decompose for 21 days or more. When they are ready after a month or so, they are applied as basil dressing replacing fertilizers such as 23:21:0
He says they also use chicken dung which is put in a bottle added with water .It is shaken everyday, he says. After 21 days , it is mixed with a pail of water. Farmers them dig small holes .He says this replaces top dressing fertilizers like urea.
Project coordinator for the area Winford Kamzimu Gondwe says the
organisation starts with a small group of people to make big impact.
He said they were working with 500 families saying they are
increasing to include 1430 households.
In addition to food security, families are also taught health and
nutrition, income generating activities such as soap making and
rearing of goats, fish farming as well as teaching the word of God.
He said they cover of Rumphi and Karonga districts.
The EHC is community based with the overall objective of reducing
poverty and increasing nutritional status of poor subsistence farmers in five villages for a period of three years.
The poverty reduction will be achieved through achieving food
security by training poor farmers in modern farming techniques and ncreased access to farm inputs.
Women of child bearing age are targeted to increase access to basic nutritional and health education where they are taught how to eat different type of foods for health families.
The organisation is also assisting a community based organisation which is helping orphans and the chronically ill patients mostly from Hiv/Aids.
It gives them goats, various kinds of foods and any other assistance