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Drought emergency declared by President of Zambia

Zambezi Farm is facing yet another drought emergency. When I visited the farm a few days ago I could see that the staple maize crop had died in the field. This is supposed to be the rainy season, but it has only rained twice since November. Maize crops all over Zambia have failed. Even if it does rain now, it will be too little, too late.

As it is the major part of the Zambian diet, maize will have to be imported at a huge cost financially, politically and emotionally. The price of mealie meal, the grits-like cornmeal used to make nshima, which most Zambians eat twice a day, has already doubled, and is still rising. The Mama Bakhita families, who all have disabled children, will simply not be able to afford it.

The irrigation systems we added at the farm have helped sustain the other vegetable crops somewhat, but nothing can take the place of rain. The water table has dropped so low that the water we are able to draw from our well is limited. Wells, ponds and rivers all over the country have dried up. And it is hotter than ever…

"The economy is beating us"

We must focus on getting through the current crisis, but also think of ways to combat the steadily increasing impact of climate change. Lack of water threatens the very survival of life in this area.

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