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International – Zimbabwe’s drought

March 2016

A serious drought in the country has caused extra problems for the church in Zimbabwe, with more than 1.5 million people facing hunger as crops across the country have died.

According to reports, high temperatures and low rainfall have seen maize supplies diminish rapidly, and importing from neighbours is impossible, because the drought caused by the El Niño weather pattern has affected the entire region.

Barnabas Fund, which has launched an appeal to help in this crisis situation, has worked for many years in Zimbabwe, training people to farm efficiently and providing seeds and fertiliser. Its initiative aims to help farmers by teaching farming methods that produce 5-10 times more than conventional methods.

Zimbabwe has suffered food insecurity for the past 15 years, and is ranked 156 out of 187 on the Global Hunger Index. Meteorologists say this is the worst El Niño on record and its effects will be more severe than the devastating drought of 1991/92, when millions of cattle died and the country’s sugar cane plantations were wiped out.

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