AFRICA/MALAWI - "The rain is back, let us begin to hope, but the situation is very difficult"

Wednesday, 3 February 2016 food safety  

Lilingwe (Agenzia Fides) - "Now the rain has reappeared and the country can begin to hope" writes to Agenzia Fides Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba, Monfortan missionary in Malawi, after "two long weeks without a drop of rain during the peak of monsoons that guarantee the only annual crop" but the "drought in these recent weeks - says the missionary - has broken a cycle that is impossible to repair". Several Countries, including Italy, are suffering severe shortages of water and snow. But in the south of the equator a similar situation generates infinitely worse consequences, leading to the starvation of half of African countries", stresses Fr. Gamba. According to FAO, Southern African countries are in serious food shortages: 14 million people are at risk in South Africa, 6.6 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1.5 million in Zimbabwe, 1.25 million in Angola . "In Malawi 2.8 million inhabitants are without food out of a population of 17 million", said Fr. Gamba. Corn has in recent months reached the highest cost in the last six years".
"Crops will have to be replanted, one has to think of alternatives that do not require long weeks of rain. Sweet potatoes and cassava are the most suitable, but cassava needs two long years before the harvest ... so what can be done? asks Fr. Gamba
Yet with the rain in recent days there is still a little hope. This is Africa, let us hope it continues to rain for the next two months, "we hope that we manage", concludes the missionary. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/02/2016)