Sep 23, 2019

CLEAN WATER AND FOOD SECURITY

Distribution of ground maize - Kamwi Village
Distribution of ground maize - Kamwi Village

One of the things that donors and supporters frequently say to me is ‘you have saved so many lives!’ However, I usually correct them by saying we have no proof that we have actually saved a life, but The Butterfly Tree is ‘helping to save lives’, especially with our malaria prevention initiative.

Malaria prevention and all of our projects in Zambia are vitally important, but no more so than water. According to the World Health Organization access to safe drinking-water is a basic human right, and yet a third of Zambia’s population do not have safe drinking water! Where we work we see many remote communities relying on rivers and streams for drinking water. 

Due to the the severe drought in Southern and Western Zambia rivers and streams are dry, and for some the situation is now critical.

The boreholes, which we have previously installed are proving to be invaluable, and potentially life-saving, especially in the outreach areas of Nyawa Chiefdom, where communities normally rely on river water. People are travelling long distances to reach Zalu and other schools where we have added boreholes in recent years. Every day they arrive with buckets and barrels using donkeys and carts to transport this most precious of commodities.

In other areas where there are no boreholes people are digging deep holes in dry river beds and must wait hours for water to trickle through. Having lost all their crops, due to the drought, they also need water for their livestock. Our volunteers have witnessed this in many areas, not just in Nyawa, but also in Mukuni Chiefdom. The scene is heart rendering.

On a positive note I am pleased to report that nine boreholes are being installed thanks to generous donations. Over the next few months we aim to help more schools to create sustainable feeding programmes, looking at alternrative crops to maize, which is rain-dependent.

I have been totally overwhelmed by the support we have received for the food crisis appeal. your donations are providing roller meal (ground Maize) for thousands of people whose crops failed this year. We are so grateful to everyone, but still need donations for water and food projgrammes to continue helping people through this period of drought.

Sourcing drinking water
Sourcing drinking water

Links:

Jul 26, 2019

DONATIONS FOR FOOD AND WATER PROJECTS

School feeding programme at Singwamba
School feeding programme at Singwamba

The recent appeal for bags of maize has proved to be highly successful. Due to the severe drought there is a great deal of hunger. Supporting the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal for 'Zero Hunger', The Butterfly Tree has distributed over 5,000 bags of maize to schools and communities affected by the sever drought in Zambia. Orphans and vulnerable children are our priority, though help has also be given to the elderly and widows who have no income. We have donated 20 bags of ground maize to seven schools in the Kazungula District as the World Food Programme has closed school feeding programmes in this in this region.

Heart breaking stories materialise. On the 26th June an old man, from Katanda Village, had not eaten a proper meal in two months. He heard that we were distributing maize at Muyunda, he walked there but found nothing left as it had already been given out. He then walked to Singwamba and luckily, we had a few bags remaining He was in such a sorry state but declined the offer of help to carry his bag of maize to his home. To Muyunda from his home 20km...to Singwamba...16km and back home 8km. A staggering 44km (26 miles)!

Children in desperate need of food try to catch fish from stagnant streams and consequently they are contracting Bilharzia. However, as medication for this is not readily available in the rural clinics, the charity has donated funds to pay for medication for 120 children. 

Water is in short supply unless a school or community has a borehole or well. Otherwise streams and some rivers are dry therefore people have to walk several kilometers in search of drinking water. We have funding in place to provide two more boreholes for schools and three communities, which will give approximately 2,000 people access to safe drinking water.

The rainy season does not start until December therefore we need more donations to sustain the supply of food and water for vulnerable people who live in extreme poverty and cannot help themselves as crops cannot be planted in the cool dry months.

Though we cannot help everyone we are providing food for a substantial number of people in outreach areas and making contributions to avoid a widespread famine. 

Feeding programme at Bunsanga School
Feeding programme at Bunsanga School
Old man collects bag of maize after walking 44km
Old man collects bag of maize after walking 44km

Links:

Jul 9, 2019

Reduction in Malaria Cases

Children in Nyawa
Children in Nyawa

In July 2017 The Butterfly Tree visited Moomba Chiefdom as 46% of the population had malaria. Moomba is a remote area in the Kazungula District of Southern Province of Zambia, somme 300km from our base. No other charity had been there. Shortly after we initiated a malaria prevention programme to reduce the number of cases. Over the next 12 months every dwelling was painted with a safe insecticidal coating, larvicide was placed in stagnant ponds and streams to prevent the larva developing into mosquitos. In addition every household was provided with mosquito nets. 

Results:
1,531 cases in 2017
525 cases in 2018
56 cases to date in 2019

In April last year we targeted two villages and the surrounding areas in Nyawa Chiefdom, using the same methdos as above. The latest reports shows that ZERO cases of malaria were recorded from April 2018 to the end of June 2019.

Three more schools have been given mosquito nets to protect school children from contracting malaria. River View School has reported no absenteeism since the distribtion of mosquito nets in October 2017. Sikauzwe, Kawewa and Mambova Schools have received a donation. A total of 2,800 school children being protected under our 'nets for schools' pilot scheme. 

We have now raised sufficient funds to provide mosquito nets for Kamwi, Chuunga and Ngwezi Schools. These will be given out to pupils at the start of the next term in September.

Globally malaria is on the increase, with half the world's population at risk. Latest World Health Organisation state that an estimated 219 million people have malaria and there were 435,000 deaths. Chidren under five are at most risk, however oftern school children miss out when it comes to offering prtoection. 

Our aim is to reach out to more schools in remote areas where malaria is prevelant.

Links:

 
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