Date: February 28, 2020
Zambia is experiencing the worst drought in a century. According to the Zambia Meteorological Department, the 2018-2019 rainfall season was one of the poorest that the southern half of Zambia has faced, and this has affected crop production, food availability and food access. There has also been a marked decrease in maize production, their main staple food item.
After visiting the town of Livingstone at Victoria Falls, United Church of Zambia (UCZ) General Secretary Rev. Peggy Mulambya-Kabonde said that people had ploughed their maize crops which had shrivelled in the heat, “are desperate not to have a repeat of 2018 and 2019 when it did not rain in some area” and “are worried they may not be able to take their children to school”.
She added that “young people are working with the ACT Alliance and other organisations giving people food relief and drought-resistant crop seeds, and “in some areas the people are so badly off, we are even having to provide them with soap.”
Tourist attraction Victoria Falls, found on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, has slowed to a trickle after an unprecedented decline in water levels. Both countries have suffered power cuts as they rely heavily on hydropower from plants downstream from the falls.