The first greenhouses at Chinteche. The solar Chill Store is at the bottom right

The Scottish Government want to create Climate Justice Communities in Malawi. I’m not sure anyone really knows what those words mean, but certainly as the climate changes, the poor are suffering more than others. Climate justice seeks to right this wrong, where those who have done the least to cause climate change, suffer the most from its consequences.

Yesterday, I visited our own Climate Justice Community at Chinteche, on the shore of Lake Malawi. It’s a beautiful place and the people are incredibly warm and welcoming. Our project here is enabling 135 women to increase their household incomes substantially through growing high quality produce in greenhouses. Solar pumps bring the water from the lake and the plants are irrigated through a drip system. We are training the women in all aspects of growing tomatoes and peppers and then they bring them to the on-site solar Chill Store where we buy all the grade 1 produce (95% so far). From there, we take the produce to Mzuzu and sell to hotels and supermarkets.

I watched these peppers being picked and then graded, ready for sale.

This is a large project – there are already 30 greenhouses across two sites and another 15 will be up by the end of this month. Once they are all ticking nicely, there will be 33 tonnes of tomatoes harvested every month – a tonne a day!

So I think this is what Climate Justice looks like:

  • Tools are provided to enable high quality agriculture which is resilient in the face of climate change.
  • Women are empowered with knowledge and skills.
  • Households get a year-round income, mostly for the first time. One woman said yesterday, “I am doing this so my children can go to school.”

This feels good and right and we want to do more of it.