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The frontline of the climate crisis

The problem

In 2017 Zambia experienced a drought, and the consequences are still being felt today. Families have less and less food. The 2017 drought led to a limited harvest in 2018, causing food prices in Zambia to rise significantly. Now, some families are only eating three meals each week.

The 2020 harvest is also expected to be below average, so the situation will definitely get worse. The droughts have dried up the clean water supplies, so people are turning to less safe water sources. We see outbreaks of tuberculosis, cholera, and malaria because people who are already malnourished and don’t have safe water for drinking and washing.

The responsibility to collect water falls upon women and girls. As they travel further from home to find clean water, they are at increasing risk of sexual violence.

These droughts are placing young people at particular risk. To make ends meet many have to leave school, ending their education early. They have no choice but to enter into child-labour, with great risk of exploitation. Girls as young as 13 also face the prospect of being forced into marriages in exchange for money because their families are starving.

Roselyn waswa testimonial

The 2020 harvest is also expected to be below average, so the situation will definitely get worse.

Roselyn Waswa, Caritas Kabwe