In Bwetu village, in the district of Lilongwe thousands of people still live a daily struggle contending with a vast range of societal issues and needs that are each a fundamental characteristic of growing, healthy communities. The basic needs that still need to be met include: a lack of employment and income opportunities, deforestation, land degradation, malnutrition, and insufficient educational funding.
The simple act of planting drought resistant moringa trees addresses the current challenges of deforestation, soil erosion, lack of water, and land degradation as it adds nitrogen to the soil. Due to its high nutritional content, moringa trees are a vital tool towards combating malnutrition and improving general nutrition the world over. It is against this background that Wandikweza in collaboration with Tilinanu Orphanage trained 32 people from Bwetu village on cultivation and use of Moringa plants.
Soil management and land preparation are important when planting the Moringa trees. Moringas do not like heavy, clay-like soil . Clay soils become sticky when wet and very hard when dry. Moringas grow in poor soil, sandy soil, and depleted soil, but they do not like their roots getting wet. We choose an area where the soil is well drained. This helps to evacuate excess water from the soil and allows a free exchange of gasses between the atmosphere and soil particles. It is important to avoid termite-infested soils as much as possible.
Wandikweza trains communities in cultivation and harvesting practices that will maximize their moringa tree yields and we incentivize them by providing the agricultural materials, primarily seeds or seedlings, they need to grow moringa effectively.
During the training, we also share nutritional information to help participants and their families enjoy the remarkable benefits of the leaves from their moringa trees.