I want to share with you good news of the way God has blessed Zimbabwe with an abundance of rain during this last rainy season. We are approaching the end of this season and it has truly provided much food for the whole country.
Our children are all city dwellers and therefore are not living in an agricultural community, but nevertheless, their lives are greatly affected when there is little food available in the country due to drought. They either cannot find food to buy, or when they do find it, they pay super inflated prices well beyond their means. Because our families experienced great hardship throughout last year’s drought, a wonderful Body of Christians stepped in to provide this need.
We are so thankful to The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas for the gift of many months of food for our families. And we are grateful to our God who holds all things in his hands, even the rain cycles, for a wonderful season of rain and the food that is now available within the country.
Below, read about the country of Zimbabwe and how the people depend upon the natural rain cycles for their everyday food. These facts were prepared by the Arnold family, one of the couples on our Hope 4 the Orphan board of directors. Thank you, Adam and Laura, for the time and interest you invested to prepare this for us!
May the God of Hope be with you!
*** As to the information below on the water supply within Bulawayo, our families regularly boil their drinking water and patiently handle the chronic water shortage, dealt with by scheduled cuts in water supply. ****
Rainy Season: What it Means
Zimbabwe has one of the best climates in the world. It has a subtropical to temperate climate due to the modifying effect of altitude. Three seasons are recognized: hot wet season from mid-November to March (summer), a cold dry season from April to July (winter) and a hot dry season from August to mid- November. The temperature is very comparable to that of Southern California, but since it is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite of that in the U.S. The rainy season, which occurs from November to March, can bring the much-needed rain that supports agricultural life. On the other hand, a lack of rain can wreak serious havoc on the country’s already fragile water supply.
A Healthy Rainy Season
A healthy rainy season has brought good things for cities like Bulawayo. This Zimbabwean center has seen an increase in urban farming among its residents. The practice of urban farming is still illegal in Bulawayo, however it is still widely practiced. The increased rainfall has meant better crops and more vacant plots being used for farming. However, more rain water does not necessarily mean clean water. According to a recent survey by Mail and Guardian, some highly populated areas in Zimbabwe’s larger cities have gone weeks without water. To deal with the water crisis, residents are forced to dig wells and to boil water. Trying to locally source water can be a problem for many, as sanitation is not always the best. In cities such as Harare, the city sometimes fails to collect refuse, which in turn gets into the water. (Source: Mail and Guardian)
A Plan for More Water
The country of Zimbabwe is planning to build the Gwayi-Shangani dam to ease the water shortages in the western city of Bulawayo. The dam would cost about $90 million and pump water from the Zambezi river. The dam is an important component of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which is set to be done in three phases. The 1st phase would see the contruction of the dam, the 2nd phase would be the construction of a pipeline from the dam to Bulawayo and the 3rd phase would be the construction of a pipeline from the Zambezi river to the Gwayi-Shangani Dam. The construction of the project is very important for the economic infrastructure surrounding the area of the pipeline and also for the water supply in and around Bulawayo.
This is all great news for our children of Themba Le’ Ntandane and their caretakers. We thank God for the rain.