Support of the Embassy of France in South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi to the Mudi River Clean-Up Project in Blantyre

Governance and Human Rights

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The Embassy of France in South Africa, Malawi and Lesotho and Art Malawi have entered into a partnership to further the Mudi River Clean-Up Project in Blantyre, Malawi. With support from the Embassy, Art Malawi and its partner PaNthunzi Eco-Solutions will continue the intensive clean-up campaign that started in 2021 on a section of the Mudi River that runs through the city.

The Mudi River Clean-Up Project is an intensive clean-up campaign of a section of the Mudi River that flows through Blantyre City, Malawi, from Sunnyside Bridge through Blantyre Sports Club, past Blantyre Market to Clock Tower. This project was launched in 2021 by Art Malawi in collaboration with PaNthunzi Eco-Solutions, with support from the GIZ.

Convinced of the significance and potential scope of this citizen-led initiative, the Embassy of France has awarded a grant of 5 000 Euros (5.1 million Kwacha) to Art Malawi for engagements with primary and secondary schools in Blantyre City, the production of 600 upcycled school bags from waste collected from the river to be presented to school children, a main exhibition, and the temporary employment of youth from Blantyre City. The project will run from August until November 2022.

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Mr Guillaume Cheverollier, Senator of Mayenne, Mr Stephane Piednoir, senator of Maine-et-loire in France, visited the Mudi River site in July 2022. Also present in the photo : Manota Mphande from ArtMal,  Chris Walker from Panthunzi Eco-Solutions, and Luc Decamp from Jacaranda Cultural Center (Art Malawi, 2022).

The Mudi River Clean-Up Project ultimately aims to promote the Mudi River as a unique, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable tourism site in Malawi and create and maintain an eco-friendly environment through remedial action and mindset change, thereby reversing the current pollution in the area. In just over a year since its conception, the project has already made a notable impact in Blantyre City, having removed 35 tonnes of waste from a stretch of 2.5km of the Mudi river, constructed two picnic benches and tables, generated 30 art installations from upcycled waste, recorded a wide range of wildlife supported by the river, and generally raised public awareness for the conservation of this natural site.

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Sampled waste collected from the Mudi River.

The Mudi River Clean-Up Project’s future goals include supporting a permanent river maintenance team of 35 people, as well as river rangers to promote local tourism. Reforestation along both the Mudi and Nasolo rivers will also be important to improve water catchment and preserve the “great trees” that grow along the banks. To address the root of the problem, the project also aims to improve citywide waste management in Blantyre City, with an eventual zero-waste target. Finally, the project aims to reconstruct the Eco Hub near Tilipo Nursery by the Mudi River, as a space for social and professional interaction for the youth.

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For more information, please contact Art Malawi:

Manota Mphande

Phone number: +265 991 58 52 51

Email: artmalawi@gmail.com

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