The main center is located in Bangula, Malawi, which is a small rural town. There are 18,000+ people in its catchment area and about 300,000+ in Nsanje district, in which Bangula is located. Nsanje District is located in the Shire River Valley, a total population of 800,000+. The valley is about 100 feet above sea level near Bangula. Getting to Bangula is a trip by truck of about 2 1/2 - 5 hours (depending on the roads) from Blantyre. With a population of 600,000 people, Blantyre is the second largest city in Malawi. Most often, except for Jan, Feb, Mar, we are able to purchase basic goods in Blantyre such as tomatoes, onions, fish, bananas and other in season fruits and vegetables as well as basic provisions in the local grocery store. Blantyre is the source when goods are not available in Bangula due to higher altitude and longer growing season. Malawi is land-locked and has very little manufacturing industry, as a result most items are imported by truck.
Bangula is found in one of the poorest and hottest regions of the very south end of Malawi, seeing temperatures ranging from lows of 15°C (60°F) in the winter to highs in the 40's and sometimes even 50+°C (122°F) in the summer. The poverty in the region is evidenced by a much lower level of education and health care than in the urban regions of Malawi. Malawi continues to find itself ranked in the bottom 10 countries in the world. An average income is less than 1USD per day, which is only if a job can be found. They are, for the most part, a friendly people who do not have the history of open civil unrest that many other countries with a similar situation have suffered.
Tiyamike Mulungu Center ©