NTCHEU, MALAWIJULY 26, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
1. Close-up roasted field mice kebabs2. Mid shot roasted field mice kebabs3. Mid shot Bernard Simeon and friends selling mice next to the street4. Mid shot Bernard Simeon and friends selling mice next to the street5. Wide shot Bernard Simeon and friends selling mice next to the street
6. SOUNDBITE 1 - Bernard Simeon, mouse hunter (male, Chichewa, 18 sec): "Since the start of COVID-19 life has been difficult. As a result, we rely on mice hunting and selling so that we can sustain our livelihood."
7. Wide shot village children hunting field mice8. Mid shot village children smoking mice out of their holes9. Mid shot man digging in the ground to catch a mouse10. Wide shot children standing around as a man digs a mouse out of the ground11. Mid shot Bernard Simeon and his family sitting down to eat some porridge and mice12. Close-up Bernard Simeon and his family sitting down to eat some porridge and mice
13. SOUNDBITE 2 - Yankho Chalera, Simeon's wife (female, Chichewa, 17 sec): "Most times we rely on my husband when he goes out and works. When times are hard, we rely on mice to supplement our diet. Because we cannot afford to buy meat due to the scarcity of money."
14. Mid shot young men sitting down to eat mice15. Close-up child eating a roasted mouse
LILONGWE, MALAWIAUGUST 31, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
16. Wide shot capitol hill 17. Mid shot Sylvester Kathumba in his office
18. SOUNDBITE 3 - Sylvester Kathumba, Principal Nutritionist in Malawi's Ministry of Health (male, English, 22 sec): "If ever your community is able to take mice, you are able to take mice, it’s one of the sources of proteins. So, you are free to take whatever is there so long you are able to get the required amount of proteins."
NTCHEU, MALAWIJULY 26, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
19. Wide shot village with houses20. Wide shot children outside the village houses21. Mid shot man walking out of a house
NTCHEU, MALAWIJULY 30, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
22. Wide shot vendor rushing up to a car to sell some roasted field mice23. Mid shot vendor collecting his money for the sale
///-----------------------------------------------------------AFP TEXT STORY:
FOCUSMouse to go: Rodent kebabs fill empty stomachs in virus-hit Malawi By Jack McBRAMS
ATTENTION - Video by George Ntonya ///Lilongwe, Malawi, Sept 4, 2020 (AFP) - A popular snack when food is bountiful, mice have become a vital source of protein in Malawi since the coronavirus outbreak aggravated food shortages and economic hardship. Vendors waving long skewers of roasted field mice typically stand along Malawi's main highway, targeting motorists travelling between the two largest cities, Blantyre and Lilongwe.Seasoned and cooked to a crisp, mice are also sold at street stalls and markets across the southeast African country.But these salty roadside bites also come in handy when times get tough. Malnutrition and food insecurity are perennial issues in the small, landlocked nation, where more than half of the population live below the poverty line.The coronavirus, which has infected nearly 5,500 people and killed more than 170, has only exacerbated food shortages as many livelihoods have been curtailed by confinement measures.For mice hunter Bernard Simeon, from Malawi's central Ntcheu district, the pandemic has brought new complexities to his poverty-stricken life."We were already struggling before the coronavirus," he told AFP shortly after preparing his daily mice catch. "But now because of the disease, things have really gone bad."The 38-year-old is primarily a peasant farmer but he also hunts and hawks mice to supplement his livelihood. His wife Yankho Chalera and their child depend on his earnings."When times are hard we rely on mice to supplement our diet because we cannot afford to buy meat," said Chalera, washing dishes after a lunch meal.
- Free protein -
Malawi's government has promised a $50 (42-euro) monthly stipend for people who lost income due to anti-coronavirus regulations that restricted movement and business.The scheme was meant to start in June, but last week the government said roll-out logistics were still being finalised.Health officials have meantime urged the poorest communities in some rural villages to supplement their diets with free and naturally available resources.Mice are "one of the sources of proteins," said Sylvester Kathumba, principal nutritionist in the country's health ministry."We have been encouraging a diet of all food groups, especially in this time of coronavirus which attacks people with low immunity," said Francis Nthalika, nutrition coordinator at a government-run health office in the Balaka district.The area, tucked into Malawi's Southern Region, is widely associated with mouse hunting.Environmentalists, however, have voiced concern about damage caused by hunting methods as demand increases. The rodents are typically found in corn fields, where they grow plump on grains, fruit, grass and the odd insect.After crops are harvested, hunters burn bushes to identify mice holes so they can trap them.- 'Long-term destruction' -
In so doing they destroy a lot of the ecosystem within the bush," said Duncan Maphwesesa, director of the Balaka-based environmental rights group Azitona Development Services."Much as we appreciate that they have to sustain a livelihood due to poverty, the bushfire issue is a long-term destruction," he explained."They don't see that they are affecting the environment and that they are part and parcel of those who are causing climate change".But tradition is hard to break.Fifty-year-old musician Lucius Banda reminisces about mouse-hunting adventures during his youth in rural Balaka."As a village boy, you learn how to hunt mice from as early as three years old," said Banda, a former two-time parliamentarian for the district."And in the village, this is not viewed as a task but more as a form of entertainment that is enjoyed by both boys and girls."Banda added that children in his village were fed mice as a treat even before they tasted beef."Up to now I still eat mice, but more as a sentimental act than anything else," he said.str-sn/sch/nb/ri