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2024 Rainy Season Driest in 40 Years

Last week we drove into neighboring Botswana to visit the Chobe National Park, one of the great wildlife destinations of Africa. Sydney’s good friend, Emmanuel, works for a safari company, and we were treated to a personally guided tour. The park was wonderfully open and full of roaming animals, but much of the bush and grass that they rely on was brown and parched. As we passed near the river where the hippos and elephants were wading, Emmanuel voiced his deep concern about the severity of the drought: “At this time of year this whole area should be full of water, up to where we are standing.” 

In a normal rainy season this whole area would be green; these few shallow pools would be a large lake.

As rivers dry up and food becomes more scarce, vegetation dwindles and prey dies or seeks sustenance elsewhere. Hippos, who need to submerge completely for many hours each day, are not only unable to cool their bodies, but can also become stuck in the mud in their desperate search for water.

The drought is also impacting domestic animals, including the goats and chickens at Zambezi Farm. So far, the farmers have been able to keep them watered, but it will be increasingly difficult in the next months as the water table continues dropping. The vegetation for grazing is drying and dying, and purchasing feed for the animals may not be possible for these people who, without help, may soon not even be able to afford food for their families. 

In early April, the AACDP will be running a campaign to raise funds to help the whole Mama Bakhita community survive this crisis.

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