Starving Children Zambia
Eight-year-old Alice lives with her mother and family in a village in rural Luangwa, Zambia. Maize is an important part of Alice’s diet. It helps give her the energy to go to school, do chores like the laundry and look after her family’s goats.
But today she has no energy to go to school or even play. The expected rains in November last year and in April this year were erratic and sparse, not enough to grow a field of maize to harvest.
“This year we have been hit by a horrible drought. There was not enough rain for our crops to grow. We harvested nothing.”
Fortunately, they have water to drink from the ChildFund water tank built with the support of caring Kiwis. But without consistent rainfall there is not enough water to irrigate the crops. Climate change exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon has created extreme drought conditions in sub-Saharan Africa this year. Rural and remote areas like Luangwa where families survive on subsistence farming are most vulnerable.
“My brothers and sisters and I are eating just once a day. Sometimes we have to go to bed hungry.”
Alice and her family are surviving on pumpkin leaves and the maize they can buy from selling off their goats. They’ve already sold four out of their nine goats. Almost every family in Luangwa is struggling with hunger, and death stalks the youngest children.
“I’m scared. I’m hungry. I’m asking for help for me and my village. Please.”
ChildFund has identified 3,000 of the most vulnerable families and is sourcing supplies of maize, groundnuts and beans. ChildFund wants to help these families get through the next eight months until the next harvest.