SUKAMBIZI ASSOCIATION TRUST OVERVIEW OF SOME OF THE FAIRTRADE FUNDED PREMIUM PROJECTS
Summary of Fairtrade Premium spending:
New school buildings to increase capacity
School desks to improve classrooms
Teacher’s houses to attract qualified staff
Napimba maternity wing (co-funded with Lujeri)
Piped drinking water
35km gravity pipeline from the mountain to 12 villages
Transport and roads
Road access to the Mbiya block – new Ruo bridge
New bridges and repairs and replacement
One net per family
1 bag of NPK fertilizer for each grower (75% funded)
Maize revolving fund, 1 bag per farmer allocation
Propagating new tea seedlings for sale to farmers
Bursaries and Financial hardship
200 fully funded secondary school places
Blankets for elderly village residents – 10 per block
Where we work
Education – primary school buildings
12 school blocks built to a standard design of 2 classrooms and an administration office.
Each classroom can take 50 people, and therefore 1200 new primary school places have been created.
Over 3,600 desks have been made locally and installed in every primary school in the Sukumbizi area. Now every pupil can work at a desk.
The desks were co funded between Sukumbizi, Curtain Foundation and Lujeri all of whom share a common ambition of increasing education standards in the district.
Naphimba Clinic Maternity Wing
Napimba clinic is an existing health centre run by the Ministry of Health. It is the only health centre in the area The clinic is located in the centre of the Sukumbizi tea growing area. Lujeri Tea Estates agreed to fund a maternity wing extension co- funded with the Ministry of Health and Curtain Foundation.
The Ministry of Health were unable to fund their portion of the project and Sukumbizi agreed to take their commitment. Without this finacnial assistance the project would still be incomplete.
Sukumbizi , amongst other commitments paid for a 3.5km water pipeline to deliver fresh water to the clinic.
The maternity wing services an area of 17,000 people.
Sukumbizi has also paid for and operates an ambulance to ferry patients to the district hospital in Mulanje.
Piped Water Scheme
This project, which has been one of the largest projects undertaken by Sukumbizi, first started in 2009.
To date 28 kms of water pipeline has been installed to transfer water by gravity from the mountain to the villages.
Before this project over 95% of all villagers got water from streams and wells.
The project also involves the storage of water (centre picture) at various points.
12 villages have so far benefitted from this scheme and more will do so when the last phase of 7kms of pipeline is installed.
Other bridges built to improve road access
Sukumbizi has built numerous smaller bridges and upgraded others so that vehicle access can be made at all times of the year (historically some roads were closed in the rainy season which was the time of maximum agricultural productivity).
Sukumbizi has also spent funds repairing bridges damaged in the floods of January 2015, work that has been co-funded by Curtain Foundation and Lujeri.
All bridges have been built using local contractors.
Income support – Fertilizer and maize
Sukumbizi farmers crop more than just tea, for example, bananas, pineapples and further away from the mountain, maize.
These farmers all have a need for fertilizer for these non-tea crops. (For tea all farmers can access fertilizer from Lujeri which is available at cost and paid fro from green leaf deliveries).
Sukumbizi operates a scheme whereby each farmer can have one bag of fertilizer per year and 75% of the cost is paid for by Sukumbizi and 25% by the farmer.
Sukumbizi operates a maize revolving fund whereby it will guarantee to sell one bag of maize to each farmer in the December to April period at prices prevailing when it bought the maize in May/June. Very often in Malawi the price of Maize increase hugely when it becomes scarce immediately before the new harvest and this scheme gives the farmers a lot of confidence that they will have enough maize.
Malaria Prevention - nets
Malaria is still the number one killer disease in the area.
Funds have been used to purchase mosquito nets, one net per farmer.
When done in 2013 there were 6,500 farmers as members of SAT.
Sukesa Tea Plant Nursery
Sukambizi Association Trust, together with Sainsburys, Harris Freeman and Lujeri Tea Estates created a nursery to produce tea seedling plants for purchase at cost by the smallholders.
The project is designed to become self funding with the proceeds of tea plants being re-invested in the nursery to grow more plants.
To date 2,400,000 plants have been delivered to farmers who have paid for them.
This is a successful project that has made a significant contribution to the development of the smallholder blocks.
200 school fees bursaries given for secondary school education.
10 blankets per village have been given to support elderly and weak people.
New Ruo for Mbiya village
The Ruo river is one of the largest rivers flowing off the Mulanje mountain and it runs through the Sukumbizi area.
The Mbiya village and tea areas is a very productive area, but was inaccessible to all road transport as there was no crossing road crossing point over the Ruo.
All access was by a pedestrian suspension bridge which required villagers to carry their produce a long distance to get it to the nearest road access point.
The bridge was completed in 2014 on time and on budget and represents the single largest project undertaken by Sukumbizi. The bridge can take a 30t truck,
Lujeri Tea Estates
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ABOUT SUKAMBIZI ASSOCIATION
The Sukambizi Association Trust (SAT) was established in the year 2000 and was registered in 2003 under the Malawi Companies Act (No. 19 of 1984), however it was converted into a Trust on 16th August 2008. The organization is composed of smallholder tea producers with an average field size of 0.3 hectares.