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In the Kasungu District in northern Malawi, Students in the areas suffer from common diseases including diarrhoea and trachoma as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene practices. Students also suffer from malnourishment as a result of poor dietary habits and a lack of resources to grow nutritious foods within their household. The dietary habits are significantly impacted by the complex changes that have occurred as a result of climate change.
Communities are unaware of improved conservation agricultural practices, which can mitigate the effects of climate change and result in more consistent production of nutritious foods. This is compounded by drier conditions in the communities due to inconsistent rainfall during the times of year where rain is expected. When water is available, it is commonly used for consumption and not for agricultural purposes.
In primary schools, there is a general lack of agricultural and environmental education activities which could help the students gain knowledge and information about permaculture, conservation agriculture, environmental conservation and sanitation & hygiene.
CPAR's Green Schools Project will provide capacity building trainings for teachers and students in permaculture, sanitation and environmental conservation. Through the project, teachers and students will be able to convert their theoretical knowledge gained through trainings and put it to use through involvement in the growing and caring of fruit trees around their institutions. At the beginning of the project, the schools will be provided with all the seedlings to plant in their institutions. CPAR will use the resources available to source all the tree seedlings for the schools to plant. As Agriculture Clubs become more active with the support from CPAR, schools will be able to establish and care for their own nurseries to continue to supplement themselves with tree seedlings to be planted around their institution. Such nurseries will help in the sustainability of the project and provide a means to replace the trees that do not survive. CPAR will also show teachers and students how to use the run-off grey water from 4 existing CPAR build rainwater harvesting tanks to grow fruit and non-fruit trees and providing capacity building activities around hygiene and sanitation. In addition to these trainings, a fifth Rainwater Harvesting tank will be built to provide additional safe, clean water for consumption and agricultural use.
All students and teachers in Chankhozi (1115 students), Chiputu (513 students), Chamwabvi (1158 students) Misuku (943 students), and Msulira (1079 students) Primary schools now have improved nutrition due to increased availability of food from fruit trees and increased harvests due to better agricultural practices.