Saturday, January 26, 2008

Zambia's flooding

We had a prayer request in church for the farmers in Zambia due to the heavy flooding this year. Most of the maize crops have been wiped out. I did a check for Zambian news this morning and found these articles: Emergency Preparedness Pays off and State Bails Out Flood Victims. Maize is a form of corn that is the food staple in the Zambian diet. They grind maize to make "mealie meal" what we would call corn meal. They use the ground maize to make nshima which is a little like polenta. It is good to know that there was a good crop last year that Zambians will have as a resource for food this year.

It does make me concerned for one of the lodges we stayed at last summer. The South Luangwa River Lodge was flooded and had to do major repairs after last year's flood. I fear that they will have to redo their lovely cabins again as it sounds like this year's floods are worse. And these lodges are an important part of the economy for Zambia, bringing in outside cash that does trickle down to help everyone in the area.

After reading these articles,I remembered Linda showing me the wording for "mealie meal" in the grocery store there, but I found that I could not remember if that was the corn meal or the cereal that is like our corn flakes. In doing a google search on mealie meal, I found this story about Zimbabwe. Dated from 1999, it is sad that Zimbabwe still has such bad problems. The flooding that is reducing the crops in neighboring Zambia will surely impact the Zimbabwe people as well as more people will be dependent on foreign grain supplements this year.

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