Your basket
Your basket
0 items - £0.00

Personal tools

Home News Tearfund launches drought appeal

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Tearfund launches drought appeal

by Michael Ford last modified 28 Feb, 2020 07:31 PM

Extended periods of below-average rainfall in Zimbabwe and across the wider southern Africa region have led to extreme hardship for poor farmers, who are struggling to feed their families. Tearfund has launched an appeal to help.

Tearfund launches drought appeal

Photo by David Mutua

Tearfund’s country director for Zimbabwe, Earnest Maswera, explained the extent of the problem:

"6.7 million people - the equivalent of every ninth person in the UK - are going hungry every day in Zimbabwe. The rainy season has become more and more erratic, and streams and boreholes have frequently dried up. Poor farmers, who mainly depend on rain-fed agriculture, have nowhere else to go for water, and without that they simply can’t grow food to feed their families, let alone provide a surplus for income."

60-year-old father of seven Mtshale said his land "resembles a semi-arid desert as there hasn’t been sufficient rain since 2016. The last time I tilled it was in 2017, but even then, I did not harvest anything as the crops all died in the field."

Mtshale makes wooden tools and utensils to try to make ends meet, but they don’t bring in much money in the current economic climate: ‘On a good day, I would make at most ZWD 30 (£0.06) a day.’ This would buy less than 3 kgs of mealie meal [at 11 Feb 2020 prices], which will last his family little more than a day if they only eat one meal, in the evening. To add to the difficulty, mealie meal has become an increasingly scarce commodity in Zimbabwe.

Tearfund’s global fundraising director, Jane Pleace, said: ‘In more than 50 countries, our local partners are helping people in poverty survive in the short term and become more secure in the long term. However, the scale of need both in Zimbabwe and across southern Africa is vast, which is why Tearfund is launching a Lent Appeal to call on help from supporters.’

In Zimbabwe Tearfund’s local partners are equipping people like Mtshale with practical principles that empower them to become self-reliant, for example to work their land using conservation techniques such as mulching and minimal tillage which are proven to increase yields.

Other projects include enabling communities to set up self help groups - which give people access to capital to start small businesses - and teaching churches to envision people to maximise their community’s resources, for example by replenishing forests to minimise soil erosion and moisture loss.

To donate to Tearfund’s Lent Appeal, please click here.

Document Actions