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PHOTO - ZAMBIA
by Chris Meehan
The two had just come from the food distribution site. The young boy was carrying a container of cooking oil. And with one hand on the boy’s collar, the grandfather, who is blind, was carrying a 100-pound sack of maize on his head.
Rory stopped to offer the family a ride. As he drove them home, he heard a story that gave him an example of the debilitating dimensions of the ongoing drought ravaging that part of southern Africa. It also reflected wider-impact issues that play a role in causing the lack of rain.
“The man told me he made a living by weaving rope from tree bark and making mats and other things from reeds, but because of the drought, farmers couldn’t afford to buy his rope to make halters for their ox carts, and fisherman couldn’t afford to buy material for their nets because the area where they fish had dried up.”
Rains have become increasingly erratic in Zambia, especially in the western part of the country, as the result of an unusually warm, two-year El Niño weather pattern.
Currently World Renew, together with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the United Church of Zambia, is providing food assistance to 4,500 households at 13 sites in the district of Mwandi. That means more than 38,000 people are receiving food!