Tales of hunger, thirst, despair

THE tales are chilling.
“People planted, crops germinated and flourished until a heat with an intensity like no other swept over our land. The crops withered and only stumps remained,” headman Makambo of Mwindilila village in Pemba district says as he closes a community meeting.
“The livestock, having no green grass to graze on, moved to the fields and ate the stumps. If no help comes soon, our livestock await certain death.”
Over the next five days, similar sentiments echo from over 70 speakers in various community meetings, interviews and focus group discussions in villages across Pemba, Gwembe, Livingstone, Kazungula, Sioma and Sesheke districts.
During the long drives from one district to another, landscape and foliage collaborate the participants’ stories, as open fields stare back in desolation while cattle lazily look up from dry fields simmering under the rays of the scorching sun.
The evidence gathering team from Caritas Zambia and Norwegian Church Aid, working in response to a rapid assessment report on crop conditions in selected parts of the country, drives over bridges lying across empty streams and river beds. http://epaper.daily-mail.co.zm/

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