Macduff Shipyards are nearing completion of the aluminium clinic boat/lake ambulance designed to serve remote communities on the north-western shore of Lake Malawi (see previous posts). The hull is nearly completed, and has a coat of primer paint for protection. A three-cylinder, air-cooled Lister engine has been installed and the next stage is fitting out of electrics, controls, sterngear and seating. Still needed to acquire are safety and deck equipment and a marine radio. The provisional plan is to have a ‘yard launch’ at Macduff at the end of April followed by sea-trials, then a commissioning ceremony in Macduff on 2nd May 2009. The following week, the boat will be shoe-horned into a 40-ft container at Macduff for its trip to the lakeshore in Malawi.
Press reports early in the New Year informed us that Ekwendenihad been hit by a cyclone and hail storm. Reports now received from the General Secretary of the CCAP (Church of Central Africa Presbyterian) in Mzuzu show that the damage is quite extensive. The maize store and Primary School lost their roofs, some Promary School staff house were demolished and there is damage to other buildings on the mission station. The Church of Scotland has provided some immediate funding and other funds have been made available to allow reconstruction to begin. Other houses, outwith the mission station, were extensively damaged and the recently sown maize crops have been devastated.
Ekwendeni Hospital, the Primary Health Care department and the General Secretary’s department have many items of clothing, soap, etc, sent out in various containers. These will, no doubt, be distributed where appropriate.
The new male ward toilet and shower block at the David Gordon Memorial Hospital in Livingstonia, funded by Rotary, is almost complete. John returned to the UK just before Christmas having supervised the building of the new block, with only the tiling of the floor, painting and some plumbing work still to finish. Hot water will be provided by a direct solar heatig system. A health and hygiene education programme in the local language will also be provided
One of the ways to increase food production in Malawi is to use a plough. While a few have been seen working the fields, they are still a very rare sight. We have funds for a bullock to pull a plough and a cart and are looking for a single ridger. but we have not seen any for sale. These are used before planting maize.
HIV/AIDs is a major issue in Malawi and Mrs Soko of the Primary Health Care (PHC) Department at Livingstonia Hospital is in the forefront of the battle. Every day she see the effects of HIV/AIDs as she provides practical care for families and, particularly, orphaned children. Here she is teaching a ‘Gogo’ (old person) how to make up baby milk for babies that have recently come into her care. PHC wil then give ongoing and appropriate support to this family using donated clothing, goods and financial support.