The rainy season in Zambia ends in March. Unfortunately the rains, which started in October, have been intermittent – either too heavy or insufficient. This means that the crops will yield only around 30 – 40% of what is normally expected. The maize had dried too quickly, much of it scorched by the saering heat, when temperatures reached 35 degrees, above average for the time of year. This will result in a great deal of hunger, if not famine, amongst the rural communities that depend on maize as their staple food. There are many hungry children living on just one meal a day, some of them walking for three hours to get to school.
As always the ones most affected there are the orphans. Some children are returned to the villages from townships when their parents pass away. It is really tough for these children and also for their grandparents who become their sole guardians. Recently one elderly man lost his daughter and son-in-law as a result of AIDS related illnesses. His grandchildren had been brought to him from Sesheke, some two hundred kilometres from Mukuni. A neighbour had kindly offered him his mud hut as the old man did not have suitable accommodation. He had no income to provide food for these vulnerable children. We will soon donate a house for this family along with support for the children, but it will greatly help the family if they have seeds to grow their own food.
Thanks to donations from an existing supporter and some generous tourists, we were able to distribute bags of ‘mealie meal’ (ground maize) to vulnerable families in both Mukuni and Kamwi Villages.
We have had tremendous support from our donors, but we need to buy more seeds for vegetable and beans now that the maize growing season is over. Please continue to help us to provide them to more vulnerable children, especially girls and women who tend the small gardens to provide food for their families, in these remote villages of Zambia.
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