Southern Province and Western Province of Zambia have been hit the hardest by climate change in the country. The two provinces have seen an increase in seasonal droughts, occasional dry spells and increased temperatures in some parts.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) has a local Community Based Organisation (CBO) programme in Western Province and as response to the hunger crisis; Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) in support from well-wishers responded the distribution of relief food in two wards.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) met with the community members to gather information on the depth of the hunger crisis from the community member's perspective. From speaking with members of the community it was clear that most of the rural district population is dependent on rain-fed agriculture such as maize. And heavy rainfall has had a negative impact which is currently being felt by many in the district.

The women and men of Shangombo district complained about the lack of food in the district due to reduced rainfall in the past two rainy seasons. They also feared that even this rainy season did not promise a good harvest because of heavy rainfall which doesn't give chance to crops to grow.

Mrs. Muswa a local farmer in Shangombo district, spoke to the fact that her family and her fellow community members have resorted to eating wild fruits locally known as Lidowa and Zita fruits because of drought, low harvest, failed crops and the increasing price of the maize meal on the market.

Maize meal is the community's staple meal and they go for more than 21 days without eating their staple food. As a substitute for maize meal, the locals uproot wild grass locally known as Lidowa and Zita, which grows in open wet areas such as swamps. The Lidowa is cleaned and cooked like maize; Zita roots are cleaned and dried, pounded and then cooked for the family to eat.

Mrs. Muswa like many others in the community explained that it is common that most complain of stomach aches and skin irritation upon eating either wild fruits. She also exclaimed that her family has no choice but to eat wild fruits and grass roots because they do not have any other choice and they cannot afford to buy food because they do not have any crop to sell as a result of their poor harvest as they would have done if they had good rain in the previous rainy season.

In 2020, Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) with the support from well-wishers will be distributing relief food to over 1,200 of the most vulnerable community members in the most affected communities for three months, the most vulnerable community members will be supported with food relief packages which will include 10kg bag of beans, two 25kg bags of maize meal and a bottle of cooking oil.

Issued by the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) Media Team

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