56. Lilongwe District • Malawi
We have selected 100 unique places on Earth that are projected to undergo profound changes within the next few generations. We based our selection of the 100 places on the 4th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Simply by drawing attention to the beauty of these places, 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear creates an argument to preserve them. The 100 Places we have chosen to highlight, and the people who live in them, are in serious danger because of rising sea levels, rising temperatures and extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Among ambassadors are Joss Stone, Desmund Tutu for more info visit http://www.100places.com. Picturesque Villages in a Harsh Countryside In 1859, when the British explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone became the first European to set foot in Malawi, the African Bantu tribes had already lived in the area for more than a thousand years. Among the first things to attract Dr Livingstones attention were the bomas. The fortified African villages had palisades around the dwellings to protect them against wild animals, hostile tribes and local slave traders. Since then, the Bantu term boma has been used to describe any kind of fence, from a colonial fortress to a makeshift shelter. In the small villages of modern-day Malawi, the picturesque bomas are grouped to safeguard the crops, harvest and livestock. Two things they cannot protect against, however, are the spread of HIV/AIDS and drought. The 14 million inhabitants of Malawi are among the poorest people in the world, with 85% of them living in rural areas as smallholder subsistence farmers, dependent on crops like maize, sorghum and cassava as their staple foods. Up to two-thirds of the population live below the national poverty line, unable to produce enough crops to cover household needs because of drought and floods, and depending heavily on foreign aid. More than a million people here are also living with HIV/AIDS, and the epidemic is rapidly escalating, leaving many households short of adult manpower. By 2050, global warming is projected to increase temperatures by 2-3°C, change the rainfall patterns and reduce seasonal water availability. This could cause serious droughts that would affect more than 10 million people in rural parts of Malawi. Together with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, this would cause a downwards spiral for the already vulnerable people of Malawi.