Mgona, located in Lilongwe, Malawi

Mgona community profile

Mgona is a large peri-urban slum north-west of Lilongwe City. The area is subdivided into four – Mgona A, B, C and D and has a total estimated population of 50,000.

The community is heavily overcrowded and with virtually no health and sanitation facilities, the community is exposed to numerous health hazards.

There are currently 7 privately owned pre-schools, which are poorly equipped and run by untrained teachers and caregivers. Of the 6 primary schools, only one is owned by the government and this is the only one with reasonable facilities suitable for learning.

About 35% of the children in the preschools are orphans. The current primary school drop out rate stands at 60%. The main causes of this are death of parents, poverty, early marriage and early pregnancy.

Water and sanitation pose a huge challenge in the community. There are only 2 working boreholes, 9 tap water sources (water paid for) and over 300 shallow wells, from which the majority of the people get their drinking water.

These shallow wells are often contaminated especially during the rainy season with resultant outbreak of water borne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera. There are only a handful of proper toilets available; the majority are shallow and hazardous pit latrines, often a source of infectious diseases. Refuse disposal is non-existent; garbage is piled up all over the community, posing a huge health risk.

The needs in the community

  • Roofing of houses for orphans and vulnerable children
  • Food Security through community gardens
  • Housing/church rehabilitation
  • Adult literacy program
  • Ongoing support and training for caregivers
  • Ongoing support for HBC
  • Youth/Women IGA (small-scale industry – land available)
  • Material support for ECD
  • Recreation support for ECD
  • Nutrition for children under eight years old
  • Housing for widows/child headed household (relocation)

What we are doing

  • Beginning income-generating activities for widows including sewing, soap making, and tie dying
  • Providing seeds and fertilizers for maize gardens
  • Supporting home based care programs
  • Providing food supplements to home based care patients