A message from Patrick HARRY, Container Gardening Project founder and coordinator)


2009-10-19 : Patrick HARRY at the start of his Container Gardening Project


The birth of the Container Gardening Project in Malawi is a blessing to the nation, as it helps to create a healthy environment, free from litters.  Firstly, heaps of garbage are checked, since most of the containers used in the initiative are obtained for free from waste disposal areas.  Furthermore, littered roads situation is minimized as most of plastics bags are thrown everywhere on the roads.

In addition, streams which are nowadays blocked by junk, and badly-smelling rivers will get cleaner, as most of the littered containers will be used for growing vegetables and raising tree seedlings.  Moreover, water borne diseases will be reduced if all waste containers are collected and used in this container gardening initiative.

There are several reasons why there are so many litters in most towns and villages in Malawi. This is mostly because one fails to collect the garbage, due to a lack of capacity building.

Despite all the litters around us today in Malawi, there are still some solutions.  Firstly, the private sector must play an important role in trying to eradicate this problem.  Apart from that, the communities must take part in waste management disposal, like they are doing in India, Bolivia and Egypt.

Lastly, education is the most important solution to the littering problem in Malawi, because education helps in changing the attitude of youth.



Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.