News – What has been Accomplished!

March 4, 2021

Dear Brian,

I am glad to inform you that Yesterday, Vuto (our agriculture field officer) and I went to Kasikidzi farm where we are raising the six dairy cows after donating the twenty four dairy cows to the beneficiary farmers.

It was such a productive visit as we had to meet the government employed Veterinary Officer, Mr. Chikafalimani and Crop husbandry officer, Mr. Lungu. With these officers we had to move around the farmland to identify a place where we will erect the Hydroponics structure.

Currently we have a total of 21 cows which are pregnant.

Finally I wish to thank BTM for your support towards this project as currently we have 24 dairy cow beneficiaries. Our vision is to ensure in future the farmers corperative in conjunction with K2 TASO should come up with processing plants for various milk products.

Very best wishes,


February 27, 2021

Thanks to your timely and generous donations, we’ve been able to purchase and donate six 10L/min oxygen concentrators to Kasungu District Hospital. This is part of the over $16,000 contributed thus far towards fighting COVID-19.

February 19, 2021

The Wellos finally made it!!  Talked to Peter today.  As you can see from these pictures, he is now out and about, though still gets winded if he pushes himself.  His appetite is back (I’d say he lost about 15 pounds).  Now that he feels better, he has re-involved himself with our projects and things are moving along.  Tom Hunt (of Medic Malawi), Peter and I have agreed to purchase up to 16  10L/min oxygen concentrators after research including consultation with a friend’s MSF colleagues in Baghdad convinced us that we could accomplish (and afford) provision of 16L/min O2 flow by hooking up 2  10L/min concentrators (the concentrators are billed as 10L/min but actually average only about 8L/min flow).  15 L/min is all that is necessary to provide adequate flow for a nonrebreather mask, and this solution is just as effective in providing sufficient flow as O2 directly form an oxygen cylinder.  The oxygen concentrators cost about $2,000USD apiece, while an oxygen tank refilling system would have cost between $130,000-276,000USD; not possible without Bill Gates! BUT fortunately, also not necessary.  We have been assured that there is sufficient power available to make all 16 at KDH, 2 at SAH, and 2 at K2TASO work.

February 13, 2021

Peter continues to recover and now has enough energy to restart working. We talked to him yesterday and briefly today and he sounds like his old self, neither tired nor winded.  His sats are still not normal on room air, but he’s getting there, and he says he feels much better.  He also informed us that our dairy project had its first calf born today!  It’s the result of artificial insemination, something new in this area of Malawi (so much for Valentine’s Day!).  It’s a boy and Cindy tells me that you can’t milk them (who knew?) but still, we males do have our uses.

February 11, 2021

Hi Everyone, Cindy and I talked to Peter yesterday.  He sounded tired, a little winded and raspy, but overall told us he was feeling better. His sats are running between 91-93% on room air, which is up from 90-92% the day before.  He is receiving heparin injections at home and will stay on them until he can be switched to oral anticoagulant medication.  Thanks so much Bert for your efforts to get the rivoraxaban to Peter.  Just so you know, I believe the dose will be different since Peter is already anticoagulated (i.e, he’ll need less medicine) and Peter knows this.  Since we were running down parallel tracks, Bert, I decided to proceed as well with a purchase and shipment of 3 months’ worth of apixaban, which is also now on its way to Malawi via DHL Express (thanks for doing the research on that).  This way there’s a back up shipment in case the rivoraxaban doesn’t make it OR, more likely, a full treatment for another patient.  Certainly won’t do this again via the US system since the same dose of rivoraxaban that appears to have cost you 315 Canadian was listed as $2000 USD.  We are continuing to pursue the provision of oxygen  and sourcing anticoagulation meds in the area, fyi.  We’ll keep you informed.

February 7, 2021

FYI, here’s some good news! Peter is out of the hospital (see below from Jacque).  Bert Claek is in process of getting rivoraxaban in Vancouver and then couriering it to Malawi to prevent any further pulmonary embolism.  Hopefully Peter can (and will) bridge with therapeutic IM (?SC) heparin in the meantime.  Thanks for all your prayers and support.  We’re actively working to make sure that oxygen cylinders and oxygen (and hopefully anticoagulation) will be available to the others in need in the area.  Google an article in The Scottsman  titled “COVID:  Bill Gates’ internationalism, not Donald Trump’s nationalism…”  Great article, BUT no, Bill Gates isn’t helping us and our partners Medic Malawi and K2 Foundation  Love to all! Brian

Hello Friends,
Be informed that Peter has been discharged today from the hospital.He is not using oxygen suppliments since 10 hours ago .His saturation is around 90 and is able to move around.
We thank God for your prayers.[…]

February 5, 2021

Thanks so much for the tremendous outpouring of support and good wishes to Peter Minjale as he is, thank God, slowly recovering from COVID19. Because of your generosity we’ve raised over $16,000 to date to help provide him and the other patients in the ICU at Kasungu District Hospital with oxygen with an overall goal of putting an oxygen cylinder filling system at St. Andrews Hospital. Depending on the cost of this system, we may also use some of this money towards purchasing anti-coagulation medication. COVID almost killed Peter by causing him to develop pulmonary embolism, which can be prevented and treated with anti-coagulation. We have also been asked to help establish a COVID ward at St. Andrews or nearby. Will keep you posted. Thanks again and stay safe and well!!

January 29, 2021

Unfortunately there has been a significant COVID 19 outbreak in Malawi since the end of 2020.  The total number of cases as of Jan 28, 2021 was 23,020 while the total number of deaths was 643.  Of the COVID cases, 16,437 have occurred since the beginning of January 2021, while 454 of the deaths occurred during that same period.  Our beloved colleague, Peter Minjale has been infected with COVID19, but, thank God, he appears to be recovering without getting seriously ill.  As soon as we heard about the worsening of the outbreak, we asked both Peter, now working exclusively for K2TASO and Tom Hunt, who runs Medic Malawi (which runs St. Andrews Hospital)  what we could do to help.  They requested funds to purchase more PPE as well as more technical advice on how to protect staff and prevent viral transmission.  We  consequently rushed $2500 US dollars as well as CDC recommendations to both.  Let’s hope this outbreak burns out soon! 

Bamboo: In the meantime, Peter tells me that almost all of the 6,000 bamboo plants we donated have survived after being planted in a number of villages. 

Reforestation: Peter also informs me that 90% of the 200,000 saplings donated by us for reforestation have been planted.

Dairy Project: He tells me that 21 of our 29 cow dairy herd are now pregnant (we lost a cow presumably to snakebite but are awaiting the official autopsy).  Our plans for the next stage of the dairy project are proceeding despite the pandemic.  We have just purchased a used motorbike so that the most distant farmers in our diary cooperative can transport milk to our processing center as quickly as possible, hopefully, thereby avoiding spoilage.   We will also be installing a milk refrigeration tank, milk pasteurizing system, yogurt maker, and solar power system to run all this and the rest of K2TASO headquarter needs in the next few months.  We could use $5,000 US dollars to this end if you wish to help us out. 

Wello Water Wheels:  Just before he got sick, Peter Minjale accomplished a miracle.  After 5 months of dogged determined negotiations with the Malawi Revenue Authority, Peter got them to waive any import duty (they had initially asked for about $12, 200 US dollars) on the Wellos, making it possible for us to dedicate these much needed  funds to other high priority projects such as COVID relief and the dairy project.

August 23, 2020

Covid-19: Here’s the latest from Malawi.  First, the small COVID-19 outbreak in Mtunthama is over.  The country of Malawi overall has seen 5,382 cases with 168 deaths. First case was reported on April 3rd and new  cases have been trending down since August 12.

Dairy Project:  Unfortunately our excitement over cow pregnancies was premature.  None of the heifers are pregnant, apparently because the frozen semen we used had no viable sperm in it.  We are in the process of acquiring more semen and ensuring that it has viable sperm at time of purchase and is handled properly so that viability is maintained  throughout our transport, storage, and insemination process.  Since we’re new at this, I think of such a minor setback as merely a learning opportunity.

Wello Water Wheels: 700 water wheels have been purchased along with the container that they will be shipped from Mumbai India.  The ship is supposed to leave for Dar Es Salaam , Tanzania in the next 10 days, so hopefully the container will be in Mtunthama by mid-late September.  The container will be used for a combination of storage, office space, and possibly, a small hydroponic project.

Bamboo:  6,000 bamboo saplings have been purchased and will be shipped from Zambia around Aug 27 with the plan that they will arrive in Mtunthama on Aug 28.  They will be distributed for free by our sister organization K2TASO soon thereafter.

Ultrasound Probe:  The convex array abdominal ultrasound probe for the Edan 60 Ultrasound machine we donated to St. Andrews in 2013 has broken and we were asked to replace it.  After much research, we were able to find a replacement, which should arrive in Mtunthama next week.

Hydroponic/Aquaponic System:  I have now successfully grown lettuce, radishes, bok choy, with very little effort, using the waste from 4 cichlids (fish native to Lake Malawi but very easy to obtain at PETCO) converted by bacteria to nitrates as the sole nutrient.  I have also grown peas and tomatoes using this system but yields are lower than I’d like so far.  I have also been able to grow carrots in a separate perlite hydroponic system.  Peter Minjale is looking into acquiring 2 systems much larger systems (mine is only good for 51 plants).

Solar Powered Milk Chiller:  A work in progress.  Having trouble finding a company to provide us with a working system. Please contact me at if you have any ideas about this, including the knowledge to convert a small freezer or refrigerator to solar.

Reforestation Project: 200,000 saplings are in the process of being planted as we speak.