Two years ago, two destructive cyclones struck Mozambique. Now, the country is facing a food crisis.
The months of March and April in 2019 saw tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth peel through Southern Africa, destroying homes, farms and livestock. In the six months following, 2.5 million people still faced food shortages. Rabeca Afonso (above) was one of those affected; her home collapsed when Idai hit, leaving her in need of emergency food assistance.
Thousands of people like Rabeca lost everything.
Irregular rains are causing both droughts and floods. During drought seasons, the soil and plants become so dry that when it finally rains, they cannot absorb the runoff, which causes floods. Because of these weather patterns, it’s incredibly difficult for even skilled farmers to grow traditional crops in Mozambique.
It may sound contradictory for a nation to struggle from both too much rain as well as not enough rain, but this is how climate change has impacted the region.
Tearfund is working in Mozambique, helping people like Rabeca cope with the changing climate they are living in by providing drought-resistant seeds, training communities to cope with irregular weather patterns, and helping build small scale businesses which can survive the uncertainty of extreme weather patterns.
This summer, our goal is to reach 1,000 family farmers in Mozambique. After successfully testing this program in other neighboring countries, Tearfund found that farmers who began using conservation agricultural methods were able to grow 10 times more crops than before.
Traditional crops of maize and beans are not drought resistant and are vulnerable to unreliable rainfall. But Tearfund’s agricultural training teaches farmers to diversify to high-value horticultural crops such as tomatoes, which provide two harvest a year instead of one. This gives families an alternative source of income, as well as making them more food secure, even in the face of climate disasters.
Diversified crops will increase food security for families, but alone it is not enough to help the farmers adapt to climate change. This is why we are including additional training in marketing, food production, and sales to help these vulnerable farmers earn more for their hard work, creating more opportunities for them to feed their families and generate income, even in the face of a changing climate.
We've partnered with our friends at One Days Wages to help people like Rabeca move out of the recovery phase and into long term security. When you give today, your gift will be DOUBLED - and will help us send 1,000 people in Zambezia, Mozambique to conservation agriculture training! This means more families will be able to provide food for their families every day. Please give now - every dollar will be matched.
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