Famines and droughts
Famines are a part of life for rural peoples in Southeast Africa. We started operations in 2007. We have seen them in 2014, 2015, 2017. In Mozambique the people eat roots & tubers, maize, oil & fat, millet & sorghum, or rice.
Causes of famines
Agriculture is about 25% of the economy of Mozambique. You can see where Mozambicans grow their food here. Rural people harvest their crops either once per year or twice. In our experience food shortages have two causes.
First, droughts can cause famines. In the wet season low rainfall can cause crops to fail. The wet season comes just before one harvest. Just not enough water.
Second, disasters can cause famines. A major flood at harvest time. A cyclone ripping up the crops. Certain types of insects. Or a crop failure. All these can cause a famine.
The UN tracks these risks all the time. Not least by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Their latest on Mozambique is here.
Donate now? Why not? Help us be ready for these disasters. Disasters that hit the vulnerable.
Half of the population of Mozambique is under 17.
Example: A famine in the wake of Cyclone IDAI?
We were seriously worried, as we were helping with the response to Cyclone IDAI, about a subsequent famine. So Mercy Air devoted a helicopter to the support of sugar cane farmers. Ones living under the forest canopy. Ones who had their legs broken by trees moving in the flood waters. People whose tools were swept away by the 11 meter wave of water. Whose homes were destroyed. All these disaster effects can cause a subsequent famine.
So we, Wings Like Eagles partnering with Crisis Relief International, were among the very the first to fly seed for returning farmers to plant. You must time this right. Otherwise the farmers will feed their families with the seed. Not plant it.