30 Apr 2014


 Satemwa Fair trade Joint Body embarked on an energy saving stoves projects for workers. Currently about 1000 stoves have been distributed are in use. The advantage of these stoves is that households are able to prepare food and other kitchen chores using less firewood. As people use less firewood forests will be preserved thereby reducing environmental degradation. The intention is to ensure all workers at Satemwa get at least one stove. The project was initiated in collaboration with Clioma and funding using the fair trade premium.
Continous use of such stoves will enable Satemwa earn carbon credits.

For more visit: www.satemwa.com

28 Feb 2014


On 26th and 27th February, the Satemwa Tea Estate received heavy rains which led to the over flooding of rivers within the area. At one point, it was even difficult to cross. The heavy rains are comimg at a time when the stapple maize is starting to ripen. This is likely to bring about hunger as the maize may not ripen and dry properly. It can also affect workers who may have to cross the rivers when going or coming from work.
Given enough Fairtrade premium funds, the Joint Body may consider carrying out 
some projects to address the problems.

For more details visit: www.satemwa.com

25 Feb 2014


As maize stocks in homes get depleted during this period starting fom December to March, Satemwa workers have this year been blessed withn yet another round of maize. The maize was bought using fairtrade premium and sold to workers. "This is the reason we like working at Satemwa, an estate that is Fairtrade certified. Of course fairtrade is better than non fairtrade because of such projects,'' one worker had this to say in appreciation of the maize distribution to workers.

For more details, visit www.satemwa.com 

22 Feb 2014


As lack of potable water continues to be amongst climate change inflicted problems, the Satemwa Joint Body have been at it again to provide borehole water using the fairtrade premium. Living areas and surrounding villages that have benefited from the project are have had peoples' lives changed since before they were getting water from unprotected wells a distance away.

We wish this could have continued but we learn fairtrade tea sales this season ae not there. The implication is no premium hence no more projects.

For more details visit: www.satemwa.com

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23 May 2013


The Satemwa Joint Body have olled out a project that intends to procure and distribute energy saving stoves to wokers. These energy saving stoves have been pocured using the Fairtrade Premium funds. The project is being run in collaboration with CLIOMA and IMAN Development. Beneficiaries will be monitored on use of the facility to detemine Carbon Credits that will derive through use of less firewood and less gass emissions. Small holders Tea Gowers will also benefit from the poject.

Below the JB Chair receives the first lot of thestoves

For more visit: www.satemwa.com

18 Jun 2012


''I am priveledged to be among Satemwa Tea Estate workers, because among other benefits, this year the company has again provided us with Solar Power of a more improved version at a subsideside price." These are words from a lady tea plucker who ran out of words to describe her happiness over her solar panel sold o her courtessy of fair trade premium funds.
As parrafin price continues to escalate, and wood energy sources depleted due to climate change effects, the Jb have this 2012 done it again. Using Fair trade funds they have sourced solar powered pannels with improved lighting system and phone charging accessories. These were procured at MK9600.00 and sold to all workers at MK2000.00. Village headmen from the surronding villages have also been given a chance to enjoy the benefits of Fair trade.
With this facility, one is able to charge a cellphone and listen to the radio while lighting up the room. those parents who have school going children are relieved of buying parrafin for lamps as the children are now using the solar generated energy o generate light used for studying in the night in their homes.
As an employer, people have kept flocking to Satemwa seeking employment hoping they should benefit from such projects. However the only corresponding hope is that of fair trade tea sales which should coninue to happen in order to sustain JB Projects.
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20 Mar 2012


A delegation of Satemwa Fair trade JB Members were sent to discuss with DHO, District Commissioner and other Government officials regarding when the guardian shelter would be handed over for use. The DC who is new in Thyolo was updated about the project and what was outstanding; such as water, electricity and sanitatary facilities.
Members were advised that Satemwa JB had paid for the electrical connection and that using the Consituency Development Fund, the water and toilets were being provided for.
The DC suggested we go to the site to appreciate what was done and agree on the way forward. on arrival at the site thwe District Commissioner said, "It is very unfortunate not to have started using such a magnificent stracture". Then it was time for discussions; and the following was agreed:
- That the water, electricity and toilets be speeded up
- That by mid April eeverything should be finished.
- That handing over should be by end April 2012
The DC feels people have been deprived of a decent place while looking after their sick relatives.
He has promised to use his influence to ensure the structure is handed over to the users.
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28 Feb 2012


It has been noted that the Satemwa Tea Estate Clinic has today ran out of family planning, but clients have said they are waiting for a consignment that someone has gone to collect from Thyolo hospital.
This tells a simple story:
That people have seen the benefit of family planning
That children can be planned
That it is a big and challenging task to raise a child considering the current economic situation.
That family planning enhances family productivity and family members are health.
That the current trend of resources, income, food do not allow for big families.
That land has become scarce
That climate change has been agravated by activities of mankind
Women are the biggest group acessing these services - (a total of 500 women from within the estate)
This service is courtesy of Satemwa's coporate social responsibility program which ensures that the clinic is up and running. To sustain the service Satemwa should be supported in its business endeavours - the more tea sales the more of such social activities.
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28 Jan 2012


In my previous posts, I wrote abou hte dry spell that was prevalent in the Southern part of Malawi. I also wrote about the break of the dry spell as we started having rains. This time round it has been the excess of the rains that has now badly affected most of the rural areas. From around the 19th January we go a warning from the Meorogical department about the impending Tropical Cyclone which would affect the southern part of Malawi.
To prove the met. people right, it started raining day and night such tha by Sunday 22nd reports started coming out of houses falling down, floods developing in most areas especiall the lower Shire.
As I write most villagers have lost their households, houses and worse still maize gardens have been washed away. Lucky are those that are employed by the estates as they are assured of shelter, income and if they are working for Satemwa then they are assured of two bags of maize courtesy of the Fair trade Joint Body Maize project - This season every employee is getting 2 bags at a subsidised price.
This is typical of effects of climate change: ie drought, floods etc
Thus we prayed for rains when the situation was becoming desparate - We got rains but more than we required - now people have no shelter and will not have enough food because of he same rains. What a scenario.
The future - People's hopes are now on whether the JB will come up with porjects to overcome these calamities.
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18 Jan 2012


An officer from Rosy World paid a visit with the purpose of meeting workers to sensitize them on a tree called Moringa. This tree is known as a miracle tree because its products and by-products if used well can play miracles to human bodies. Among other functions it can cure the following diseases: Hysteria, Anemia, Blood impurities, Blood pressure, Cholera, Glandular swelling, Stomach ulcers etc and above all does also boost the immune system.
The objective of this organisation is to distribute moringa seed for free so tha that each household has atleast a tree to get leaves and seed from. Rosy World may then come in and buy the seed or the leaves to make moringa powder, cppking oil and other products.
The most interesting side about this tree is that the poeder has worked wonders on HIV patients. The powder has been noted to regulate ARVs side effects the official assured us. Moringa products are also approved by both local and international nutritionists. This is yet to be discussed and see if the JB could get involved into as a project.
Sounds motivating.
Those who know how the Moringa Tree functions may give more info.
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31 Dec 2011


Year 2011 has been closed in grand style.
Satemwa Tea Estate does meet with local leaders to try and appraise each other of the goings on as partners in development. Among issues discussed are social projects being undertaken by Satemwa within he surrounding villages and concerns from both sides.
This meeting was so unique because it was graced by the Satemwa Fair trade Joint Body members. Most workers on Satemwa come from the villages that border with the estate. While workers are benefiting directly from the Fairtrade premium, the JB also decided at their meeting to meet the leaders where they would talk about environmental issues, climate change and mitigating factors.
Among the leaders was the Senior Traditional Authority Khwethemule, his Group Village Headmen
and Village Headmen. What made this meeting to be so unique was the presence of the Satemwa General Manager who graced the occasion when he made a welcome address.
All chiefs were so exited such that the village headwoman and the Senior Traditional authority spoke highly about Satemwa Tea Estate and also about Fair trade. They were nso thankfull that a producer is able to consider spending on social activities that have a far reaching impact on local people's lives.
To crown it all it was announced that each leader would be given a bag of N.P.K Fertilizer. Hand clapping and ululations were heard from the room as they did not believe their ears.
They wished Satemwa Management well and wished the Fair trade community a prosperous 2012.
In the Video clip below chiefs perform a traditional thank you song/dance in appreciation of the fertiliser gift as a Satemwa Senior Manager   (in waist coat) joins in.

30 Dec 2011


Long at last rains have come.
The rain season in Malawi starts in October/November. This year has been unusual especially the Southern Region of the country, for it it has taken before rain starts falling. As a country that depends on rain fed agriculture, it was becoming unpredictable as to what was going to happen to most agribusinesses and the food security for most local Malawians. We received first rains in October and some people had planted maize which is the stapple food crop. November was dry and crops were beggining to wilt. December was unusually dry and hot leading to further wilting of the maize. Tea estates on the other hand have recorded lower crop for the same time the previous season.
We were beginning to lose hope as the month of December passed. Prayers for rain were being advocated by all.
The weather forecasts also became unpredictable as reports kept changing day in day out.
On 28th December 2011 information had it that some parts had received good rains. Today 29th December our area has also received what would be described as good rains. The weather forcast for Thyolo looks promising for the next 10-15 days. Thanks heavens.
Those who had planted and the crops have matured and wilted are uprooting (the most unfortunate part) and replanting. The negative side of this is that maize seed and fertiliser sourcing becomes more challenging to average malawians.
Others who planted some two weeks ago are applying fertilisers. Life is normalising.
Everybody's hope is that this rainfall parterncontinues till March when maize will be fully mature and tea yields increasing.
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30 Sep 2011


 It is not working always: Sitting in the office I was amazed to see tea pluckers from our Satemwa Division clad in a beautiful sports uniform. I went to talk to them. They told me one of their friends got injured and they were taking him to the clinic for treatment. I wanted to know further what it was that they were doing and they advised me that they were preparing for an inter divisional match between Satemwa and Mwalanthunzi.
These people were quite excited with the uniform. The sports uniform has been provided for using the Satemwa Fair Trade Premium. All Tea divisions have had a set of football kit. In addition the JB also made provision for shields to be competed for by both men and women.
Sportsmen from a tea plantation


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28 Sep 2011


The Satemwa Fair Trade Joint Body are at it again, this time with a more sustainable project. As water continues to be amongst the most life hinging utilities, the JB have embarked on a project that will see water being pumped using solar power. When completed workers at Mwalanthunzi Division and the next Village will benefit from the project. Currently a bore has been sunk, a solar pump and solar panels installed plus a water tank on a raised stand. What remains is the piping and construction of a water kiosk with several points from where to draw the water.
This sounds quite advanced in a rural area all courtesy of Fair trade.

 Previously people from the area have been drawing water from a source that can be classified as semi protected. This will be a thing of the past. The other benefit is that there will be no electricity billing. It is hoped that should this project prove to be a success then some areas will be considered for such solarised water project.
In the pictures below the tank, the solar panels and a photo of women drawing water from a semi protected well.                                                        

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25 Aug 2011


Malungo Zii!!!!!!!!! (Meaning Malaria Free). This is the goal being pursued by all primary health service providers in Malawi.
In view of the impact of malaria to people, especially Satemwa workers, it was decided to make a provision for malaria drugs to the clinic in readiness for the oncoming rainy season when malaria cases are high.
the basis is that during the rainy season when peolple should be coming to work, they are mostly down with malaria or are absent from work attending to children, spouses or relatives down with malaria. This affects their levels of income.
Using the Fair trade Premium the Joint Body approved a request for drugs. This includes LA, (recommended drug for malaria) Paracheck, Pain Killers and other supporting drugs.
It is expected that all suspected malaria cases will be tested using the testing kits and the treated.
The expectation of the JB as per Mr. Kalowa (JB Chair), is that children will be given priority.
Speaking when she received the drugs Ellen Gama the Enrolled Nurse/Midwife for the clinic was all smile as this will make life better. She spoke highly about Fair trade regarding how people's livelihoods are being supported. She on the other hand wished Satemwa was only selling its teas through Fair trade so that such projects would be sustained.
A group of on lookers were patients waiting for treatment and I could see suprise and happiness on their faces and they could not help clapping for Fair trade.

In this photo, The JB Chairman (right) is handing over drugs to the Nurse (left in uniform) as a cross section of people watches.

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