War on Want

War on Want was awarded £12,457 to deliver three irrigation projects in Malawi.


War on Want NI is an autonomous International Development NGO whose mission is to alleviate poverty by working in partnership with poor communities in Africa and by challenging the systems that keep them poor. They work in 3 Sub-Saharan countries, working in partnership with 39 local NGOs and community based organisations in Uganda, Malawi and Tanzania. War on Want raises much of its funds through the sale of second hand goods in its 13 shops across Northern Ireland.


The request was to build 3 irrigation projects in 3 separate communities in Malawi. Approximately 50 families would benefit from each irrigation system and they would also receive training on crop growing techniques. The project would allow an increased range of food and better nutrition for the local people especially beneficial for those suffering with AIDS.

3 irrigation systems in 3 new communities; Liwundi, Chinkwenzule and Msosa, have been set up. These irrigation systems are easily operated by motorised pumps and were installed in the nearby rivers to irrigate the communal agricultural sites in the 3 areas. 3 community management committees were formed and trained in the management and maintenance of the pumps.

The communities were trained in growing high quality seeds in order to ensure good quality produce for consumption and for sale. As a result the number of people visiting the local clinic suffering from malnutrition related diseases has reduced by 75%. They were also trained in crop diversification, whereby in one piece of land they can grow onions, tomatoes, beans as well as traditional maize. 145 vulnerable households, of which 40 head of households are HIV positive, 62 are female headed, 34 are poor male headed, and 9 child headed, took up vegetable gardening in the irrigated land as an income generating activity. A total of MK1,500,000 = approx £ 6,000 was raised as a result of this vegetable growing. As well as buying non food items, such as school uniforms, exercise books and medication, the profits have also provided 13 bicycles to allow produce to be sold in the future in the neighbouring towns, ten of the most vulnerable households have bought corrugated iron sheeting to roof their houses.

Six local extension workers (two from each community) known as Extension Multipliers have been elected and trained in modern agriculture practice. As these men and women are well known and respected in their communities extension to their neighbours has been easier rather than being taught by strangers. They live in the community and their newly found skills in both agricultural practice and training for trainers and with the support of the government agricultural extension workers, will ensure the sustainability of the project.

Some indicators of success

  • The number of people visiting the local clinic suffering from malnutrition related diseases has gone down by 75% - The nutrition status in the project areas has greatlyimproved. A certain skin disease that used to be prevalent in an area around Liwonde township has gone. People were not having vegetables in their meals.
  • The number of people buying maize at local markets has drastically gone down by 90% in the communities participating in the project.
  • The Chinkwenzule group opened an account with the local commercial bank and have been able to purchase fertilisers for the winter cropping.
  • Mrs. Esnart Edward a widow of Mdikila club was able to pay school fees for her child after selling her maize she got through irrigation.
  • Mr. Willard Chapola the chairperson of Mpango club had managed to harvest 240kgs of maize in the month of November. He was assured of having enough foodreserve in the lean month of the year.
  • Village Headman Mthundu bought a brand new bicycle from the sales he made from rain-fed tomatoes.
  • Mr. Mtira of Mthundu has managed to buy corrugated iron sheets for his house from the sales of rain-fed tomatoes.

The future

The partnership between War on Want NI and Greenline ended as agreed at the end of the year following capacity building training and support which will assure Greenlight are well placed to support other communities in a similar way.

War on Want NI has been funded £7,000 under the International Programme 2011 for a project to improve the livelihoods of people living in North East Uganda where only 6% of people are in paid employment. The project will support poor farmers and vulnerable people to develop farming skills and provide them with agricultural inputs and support.


Closing Date

Contact Us

Clifton House Heritage Centre
2 North Queen Street
Belfast BT15 1ES

T: 028 9032 3000
E: grants@halifaxfoundationni.org

Registered in Northern Ireland Number 19019

Company Limited by Guarantee

Charity Number: NIC101763

Follow Us


Investor in People