AFRICA/MALAWI - The drama of famine increases: people queue in front of granaries, almost always empty

Monday, 15 February 2016 hunger  

Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "In February, the rainy season is expected to be at its height. But not this year, because of the merciless sun that is literally burning the harvest", writes Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba, Monfort missionary, who gives a new testimony regarding the severe drought that affects Malawi, where 2.8 million people are risking food insecurity (see Fides 03/02/2016).
The rains at the beginning of February were not enough to allow the crops to flourish and now the sun is back.
"The people survived in recent months eating pumpkins. Whole bags were sold and for a paltry sum", says the missionary. "But this year not one reached the market".
To survive, people queue up in front of government granaries (ADMARC) "almost always empty", said Fr. Gamba. "In the Country there is a cartoon circulating where you see people queueing outside the granaries who spend long nights, hoping to get a bit of food. Some ask 'is a vigil?'. 'No, it is the worst way to buy grain' replied another".
Fr. Gamba concludes: "Students do not attend school because their parents allow them to queue in front of the ADMARC warehouses. Due to the desperate situation young boys stole money, while during the night some women were raped".
The only positive note is the Grammy Award tomorrow, 16 February, in which the Zomba Prison Band, formed by the inmates of the eponymous Malawian prison (see Fides 23/12/2015) participate. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/02/2016)