Fire, fire, fire!! It seems that this year especially, our poor planet is having a tough time with them, with unusually dry spells and hellish temperatures.

In Malawi however, and probably in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, there are fires everywhere. And this happens year after year after year with devastating consequences, not least of which are the destruction of hundreds of thousands of saplings.

And before someone says that fires are part of the natural cycle of life here, they are not. There are no naturally occuring fires in Malawi. There are no electrical storms as occur in Australia or California, all the fires in Malawi are man-made, either on purpose or accidental but man-made.

Malawians are not used to thinking that fires should be prevented, or that they represent any kind of danger, so long as they do not occur near their homes so 99% of the fires are left to spread causing widespread damage across the country.

And so I come back to firebreaks.

One of the best means to help control a fire is a firebreak, meaning a cleared strip of land that the fire cannot cross due to lack of anything to burn. And this is the time when we start making them.

The country has gone from the depths of winter to surprisingly hot days and warm evenings in the space of a few days and in those few days, one can see fires dotted around the countryside: villagers burning the stubble in their fields, some burning bricks, and in the space of those few days, it is like a hazy film has been dropped onto the country. We can no longer see Mulanje, we can not even see the mountains around Blantyre and there is a constant smell of burning in the air, enough to make us slightly edgy - enough to make us want to activate the firebreaks now now.

The Forestry Department and the Timber Co-Operatives have started and we, with the help of the local communities and our football teams will be doing our bit to protect the Plateau as well.

SATURDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER 2018 Keep this date in your diary and come to Zomba to join the fun!

As raising funds is not my forte, I thought that maybe a good way to do it would be to organise a running event - after all there are so many runners nowadays, why not take advantage of this?! And so I have, and it has kept me crazy busy for the past few weeks - I have turned into a mini (I am small) dictator and a constant pest for those poor friends of mine who unfortunately for them, volunteered their services!

As the name suggests, all the funds will be going towards our tree planting and conservation project Zomba TREEZ.

If you have got this far on our website and are not sure what all the fuss about trees is, I suggest you go back and look at the TREEZ pages on the website :)

For all information on the run, visit

In brief, there are 3 runs: a 5km, a 10km and a 21km for the more serious.

Each participant will need to pay an entrance fee (remember, all the money is going towards TREEZ).

Kind sponsors are donating a t-shirt, a chitenji bag, an mbaula (fuel efficient cook stove), a seedling (from us) and a raffle ticket - these goodies will go towards the first 150 people to sign up on the day and fill in their paperwork.

And there will be the most amazing raffle so make sure you buy some tickets :)

In pictures include some of our helpers and there are many more :)