The rains in Southern Zambia normally begin with a good rain near the end of October. At that point the farmers move into the field to prepare and plant their crops. The rains would then begin in earnest in late November. However, this year this did not happen. There were a few rains but the rains did not come before the crops began to dry up and die. The rains did come in late February and March. Since then there has been plenty of rain. But the crops for most are already gone.
The people are subsistence farmers. They grow their food on a year by year basis. One round of seeds is the extent of their ability.
This means that the villagers have no grain to make their meale-meal which is the staple of their diet. There will be hunger this year if there is no relief. An additional issue relative to the churches in the villages is that the people (or the men) will need to go into the towns to try and find work to be able to feed the family. This will hurt the village congregations.
Healing Hands International has acquired some rice food for distribution. What is needed is funds to provide the container to ship it to Zambia. Below is the press release issued by HHI. I want to encourage everyone to consider helping with this relief effort. Past efforts of help with wells etc. has given the church significant influence in the country and continues to give the church an extremely positive image.
Food Crisis in the Southern Part of Africa
Lack of rainfall in the southern part of Africa in what is normally the “rainy season” has created, what some say, is the worst drought and famine conditions in the last 30 years. Crop failure and rising food prices are resulting in hunger, malnutrition, and starvation. As wells dry up, crops wilt, and livestock die the people need our help. Farmers are selling their remaining livestock at a fraction of their normal value rather than see the animals die due to a lack of food and water. Children from poor families are being sent home from school because parents are using what little money they have to buy food for survival, rather than pay school fees.
The president of Zimbabwe has issued a “National Disaster Declaration.” The drought in southern Africa may be the worst on record. The lack of water is jeopardizing an entire crop in the region. The areas affected are considered the breadbasket for most of Sub-Saharan Africa and a collapse of this magnitude is going to guarantee major loss of life unless massive aid comes from outside the continent. It is estimated that 5 to 6 million people are being affected.
“Healing Hands International” is partnering with “Meals from the Heartland,” “Partners For Africa,” “Sakubva Relief Organization,” “Simalundu Mission” and others to provide famine relief in the form of pre-packaged food and famine prevention through drilling water wells and teaching people to raise their own food using drip irrigation. The plan involves buying food in country for immediate help, shipping two to three donated 40 foot containers of meals along with drip irrigation supplies, drilling wells, deepening existing wells and teaching survival gardening to farmers. Raising $45,000 will allow us to start making an impact in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa. Healing Hands has agricultural trainers and a distribution plan in place for these countries. For more information or to donate contact Carl Burkybile at [email protected] or call 217-898-0425. Your tax deductible donation can be mailed to Healing Hands International, 455 McNally Drive, Nashville, TN 37211. Donations can also be made online at www.hhi.org please make a note that the donation is for the Southern Africa Famine.
If you can help, please consider helping. Contact me or Healing Hands International. Funds can be sent to HHI earmarked for Zambia.
I can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 512-423-1080.