Southern Africa, like other parts of Africa, is being severely affected by climate change, with El Niño phenomenon bringing drought, flood and unprecedented harsh climate conditions to many countries across the continent.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is warning that up to 11 million children in east and southern Africa are at risk from hunger, water shortages and disease due to the impact of this year’s stronger El Niño weather phenomenon.
Canon Delene Mark, Director of Hope Africa, reports: “Southern Africa is currently undergoing a harsh drought, one of the worst droughts in the last 30 years. Various news sites are reporting that more than 2.7 million households are facing water shortages. It is expected that small scale farmers in several communities are most likely to lose their food production, and to bear the brunt of the increase in food prices.”
In South Africa, the ministry of water and sanitation has declared the province of KwaZulu-Natal and Free-State as disaster areas, warning approximately 6500 rural communities of the water shortages. Further, lowland areas in Lesotho, bordering Free-State, are also severely affected. Alongside water restrictions that are being imposed in various major cities, across the region, food security continues to be threatened.
The drought has resulted in severe dehydration and hunger not only among the people living in these regions, but also similar effects on the crops and livestock. People are losing their crops and cattle amidst these climate conditions. The ground is too dry to plough anything. This could have subsequent effects that may last till the end of winter next year.
Delene says: “It is saddening to see our brothers and sisters, particularly the elderly and young children, going through such difficult times. Therefore, we humbly request you and your organisation to consider making a once-off Christmas donation at this time. Your contribution would assist us to support our fellow brothers and sisters by providing them with Christmas food hampers.”
Please pray for the peoples of Southern Africa at this time of great suffering.
If you would like to support this appeal, donations can be made directly through Hope Africa’s website (www.hopeafrica.org.za).
In the UK, donations can also be made through the Charities Aid Foundation, via EFT to HOPE Africa.
Generous contributions have already been made by individuals and local churches in the Anglican Province of Southern Africa. Episcopal Relief & Development is also supporting this appeal.
Photo: School girl in drought affected area. Credit: Hope Africa