African Green Revolution ignores downside of intensive farming
October 13 2011 - Lessons learned from Asia’s Green Revolution about the damage intensive farming can cause are being ignored in the race to help Africa feed itself, Christian Aid warns in a report published today.
Sustainable farming techniques are being sidelined in favour of a quick-fix solution - modern seed varieties (MVs) that produce better yields if treated with synthetic fertiliser and pesticides.
Latest figures from the World Health Organisation suggest that the death toll in Zimbabwe's cholera now stands at more than 3,000.
Christian Aid has released =A350,000 to its partner, Zimbabwe Project Trust.
The partner, known as ZimPro, aims to reduce the vulnerability of 15,000 urban poor in Harareto the cholera outbreak through the promotion of public health education, and water and sanitation activities.
'Around thirty people are dying every day from cholera in Zimbabwe,' says William Anderson, Christian Aid's country manager in Harare.
'Although this is quite a small number compared to the HIV mortality rate there is still a higher than acceptable fatality rate of cholera …
Bishop Levee Kadenge says the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwehas crippled the nation. The bishop says his country is 'under siege and full of distress'.
Bishop Kadenge is the national convenor of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, which is supported by Christian Aid.
'We do not deserve what is happening,' says Bishop Kadenge. 'We are demoralised, we have problem after problem. But we must remain faithful to the idea that Zimbabwewill have a good future.'
The cholera outbreak has affected more than 12,000 people and has killed close to 600.
Christian Aid partner organisations in Zimbabweare responding to the cholera outbreak which is now affecting the entire country.
According to the World Health organisation more than 12,000 cases have been reported and 565 people have died.
In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, the Dabane Trust, a Christian Aidpartner which specialises in drought recovery programmes, is providing an emergency response in both the city and in the outlying rural areas.
'The sewage system has just completely broken down,' says Stephen Hussey, the programme coordinator for …
Church leaders in Zimbabweare starting an unprecedented process which will enable them to take up a pivotal role in the reconstruction of their country.
After a groundbreaking meeting, the leaders of the Heads of Christian Denomination, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference, the Christian Alliance, the Anglican Diocese of Harare, the Ecumenical Support Services and New Frontiers-Zimbabwe, have issued a letter setting out their aims.
Christian Aid has released emergency funds to provide seeds for farmers in Zimbabwe's Midlandsprovince.
The grant of more than £50,000 will provide 118 families and three primary schools with seeds and conservation farming techniques for a year. Midlands province is one of the worst affected regions of Zimbabwe; UN assessments show that it is on the brink of a severe food crisis.
'The timing is key,' says William Anderson, Christian Aid's country manager in Zimbabwe.
Robert Mugabe was sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Sunday June 29 after a presidential run-off in which he was the sole candidate.
Latest reports say the capital Harare is tense but quiet.
Christian Aid condemns the arrest and court appearance of five staff members of partner organisations in Zimbabwe.
Staff from the Christian Alliance, the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) and the Ecumenical Support Services were arrested in Harare on Monday and appeared in court on Friday - only days after a decision by the government to suspend food aid distribution by humanitarian agencies, which provoked strong condemnation within Zimbabwe as well as internationally.
'This kind of intimidation is completely unacceptable,' said Christian Aid's head of …
The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) has held emergency meetings to coordinate its response to the growing number of people fleeing to major cities to escape violence perpetrated on those who voted for the opposition.
Member churches of the ZCA, a Christian Aid partner, have already received people in Harare and Bulawayo; churches in other major cities have also opened their doors.
'We publicly condemn this suffering and killing of innocent people'
'We need to provide these people with shelter, food and blankets,' says Rev Jonah Gokova of the ZCA.
'From a …
One of Christian Aid's partners, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, is among the church groups warning of impending genocide if nothing is done to help the people of Zimbabwe.
Aid agencies have hit out at a clamp down by Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party on Zimbabwean church groups carrying out human rights work.
The arrest of eight church leaders and the closure of an office of a church-based human rights organisation - funded by Christian Aid - in Harare are the latest examples of the pressure ZANU PF is putting on human rights groups.
Christian Aid, Tear Fund and other European agencies are speaking out on behalf of these church groups following a spate violence and intimidation.
Zimbabwean police have arrested eight Christian leaders in Kadoma, Zimbabwe.
Churches across Zimbabwe are preparing to mark the first anniversary of Operation Clean Up that left hundreds of thousands homeless. At the same time Zimbabweans in some parts of the country are having their meagre garden plots seized by the military.
Christian Aid partner, the South African Council of Churches (SACC), launched Operation Hope for Zimbabwe to help thousands of homeless Zimbabweans. Its first relief convoy was due to leave a month ago, but customs delays have kept 37 tonnes of food stranded in South Africa.
Christian Aid partner - the South African Council of Churches - has just sent an observer team to Zimbabwe, where thousands of homes have been destroyed in 'Operation Murambatsvina'. Their conclusion: this destruction must stop.
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) observer team visited several sites in Zimbabwe, including Caledonia Farm holding camp, where Christian Aid partner Christian Care is working. Their shocking report to the SACC committee prompted a resolution to campaign against Operation Murambatsvina - which translates as 'clean up trash'.
High-profile relief operations have become the lifeblood of the international aid industry. On the back of mass appeals - fronted by wide-eyed, starving children - aid agencies rally attention and gather funds and roll in food-filled trucks to where the hungry people wait. Again and again we feel that we have made a difference, that the rich world has fulfilled its obligation to the poor, and that the rescue missions have been accomplished. But, in reality, no humanitarian emergency is ever quite so simple in its machinations or its solutions.
As the summer agricultural season is underway in southern Africa, farmers are facing difficulties in obtaining sufficient seeds and fertilisers for planting. Added to this are concerns of continuing dry spells.
Zimbabwe remains gripped by a humanitarian, economic and political crisis. It is a challenging context. There is considerable humanitarian need and that is expected to increase to an estimated 5.5m in need of food aid between now and March 2004. Many Zimbabweans will be dependent on international humanitarian aid.