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06 Jul 2018 description
report Inter Press Service

By Miriam Gathigah

NAIROBI, Jul 6 2018 (IPS) - Joshua Kiragu reminisces of years gone by when just one of his two hectares of land produced at least 40 bags of maize. But that was 10 years ago. Today, Kiragu can barely scrape up 20 bags from the little piece of land that he has left – it measures just under a hectare.

Kiragu, who is from Kenya’s Rift Valley region, tells IPS that years of extreme and drastic weather patterns continue to take their toll on his once-thriving maize business. His business, he says, has all but collapsed.

03 May 2018 description
report Inter Press Service

By Friday Phiri

CHINSALI, Zambia, May 3 2018 (IPS) - As global climate experts meet in Bonn this week to discuss how to take climate action forward, Zambia counts itself amongst the leaders as President Edgar Lungu officially launches the Plant a Million (PAM) trees Initiative.

04 Mar 2018 description
report Inter Press Service

By Badylon Kawanda Bakiman

This article is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8.

KIKWIT, DR Congo, Mar 4 2018 (IPS) - The numbers are hard to fathom. Nearly two million people driven from their homes in 2017 alone. The worst cholera epidemic of the past 15 years, with over 55,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Countless others killed, maimed or sexually assaulted.

14 Feb 2018 description
report Inter Press Service

By Friday Phiri

LUSAKA, Zambia, Feb 14 2018 (IPS) - In the past, Lameck Sibukale only knew savings in the form of rearing chickens, goats and more importantly, cattle—a long cherished cultural heritage of the Tonga-speaking people of southern Zambia.

But thanks to a village savings scheme, the 78-year-old from Nachibanga village in Pemba district is now part of this growing financial inclusion crusade, bringing some fresh air to the functionality of the village economy.

07 Nov 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

PEMBA, Zambia, Nov 7 2017 (IPS) - As governments gather in Bonn, Germany for the next two weeks to hammer out a blueprint for implementation of the global climate change treaty signed in Paris in 2015, a major focus will be on emissions reductions to keep the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C by 2020.

12 Oct 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

By Miriam Gathigah

NAIROBI, Oct 12 2017 (IPS) - A growing number of African countries are increasingly becoming food insecure as delayed and insufficient rainfall, as well as crop damaging pests such as the ongoing outbreak of the fall armyworm, cause the most severe maize crisis in the last decade.

Experts have warned that as weather patterns become even more erratic and important crops such as maize are unable to resist the fall armyworm infestation, there will not be enough food on the table.

18 Jul 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

By Busani Bafana

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Jul 18 2017 (IPS)

Southern African countries have agreed on a multi-pronged plan to increase surveillance and research to contain the fall army worm, which has cut forecast regional maize harvests by up to ten percent, according to a senior U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) official.

12 Jan 2016 description
report Inter Press Service

Busani Bafana

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, 20 déc (IPS) - La contamination par l'aflatoxine est une menace croissante pour le commerce, la sécurité alimentaire et la santé en Afrique subsaharienne, où les petits fermiers font face au défi de la production alimentaire et maintenant le changement climatique, selon des chercheurs.

31 Oct 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Friday Phiri

PEMBA, Southern Zambia, Oct 31 2015 (IPS) - It is slightly after 10 o’clock in the morning and 48-year-old Felix Muchimba of Siamuleya village in Pemba district has just finished having breakfast – a traditional drink called Chibwantu, made of maize meal and grit.

Nutritionally, the drink does not offer much except energy for the day’s work. Normally, the next meal should be one o’clock, followed by the final meal of the day taken in the evening.

28 Oct 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Mzizi Kabiba

KAMPALA, Uganda, Oct 23 2015 (IPS) - Sixty-five years after a major international summit here on malaria, the mosquito-borne disease remains a scourge and its incidence may even be rising in parts of sub-Saharan Africa due to the combined effects of climate change, agricultural practices and population displacement.

Almost half the world’s population is deemed at risk of malaria, and an estimated 214 million people will contract it in 2015, with nearly half a million dying.

07 Jul 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Friday Phiri

MOYO, Pemba District, Zambia, Jul 6 2015 (IPS) - In the advent of unpredictable weather, smallholder rain-dependent agriculture is increasingly becoming a risky business and the situation could worsen if, as seems likely, the world experiences levels of global warming that could lead to an increase in droughts, floods and diseases, both in frequency and intensity.

15 Dec 2014 description
report Inter Press Service

By Miriam Gathigah

NAIROBI, Dec 12 2014 (IPS) - Mention gender inequality in AIDS and the fact that more women than men live with HIV pops up. But another, rarely spoken about gendered difference is proving lethal to men with HIV.

Research reveals that, across Africa, men have lower rates of HIV testing, enrollment on antiretroviral treatment, adherence, viral load suppression and survival, than women.

Fast Facts

  • In Zambia, 63 % of adults starting ART are women.

25 Nov 2014 description
report Inter Press Service

By Sam Olukoya

LAGOS, Nigeria, Nov 21 2014 (IPS) - Two years ago, Shola* was kicked out of the family house in Abeokuta, in southwestern Nigeria, after testing HIV-positive at age 13. He was living with his father, his stepmother and their seven children.

“The stepmother insisted that Shola must go because he is likely to infect her children,” Tayo Akinpelu, programme director of Youth’s Future Savers Initiative, told IPS.

10 Sep 2014 description
report Inter Press Service

NAIROBI, Sep 10 2014 (IPS) - When Kiprui Kibet pictures his future as a maize farmer in the fertile Uasin Gishu county in Kenya’s Rift Valley region, all he sees is the ever-decreasing plot of land that he has to farm on.

“I used to farm on 40 hectares but now I only have 0.8 hectares. My father had 10 sons and we all wanted to own a piece of the farmland. Subdivision … ate into the actual farmland,” Kibet tells IPS. “From 3,200 bags a harvest, now I only produce 20 bags, at times even less.”

21 Aug 2014 description
report Inter Press Service

By Friday Phiri

PEMBA DISTRICT, Zambia, Aug 21 2014 (IPS) - “Last season, I lost an entire hectare of groundnuts because of a prolonged drought. Groundnuts are my hope for income,” says Josephine Chaaba, 60, from Pemba district in southern Zambia.

A widow since 2002, Chaaba’s story is not unique in this part of Zambia.

25 Apr 2014 description
report Inter Press Service

By Zarina Geloo

LUSAKA, Apr 25 2014 (IPS) - Zambian Martha Nalishupe is torn between taking one more pill with her daily regimen of antiretrovirals, or run the risk of a miscarriage.

Struggling to adhere to her antiretroviral (ARVs) therapy, she now has to add a tablet to prevent malaria.

31 Dec 2013 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ernest Chiombe

LUSAKA, Dec 29 2013 (IPS) - It is seven in the morning and Georgina Musende, 56, of Kamanga Township, which just lies east of the Zambian capital Lusaka, is already sweating as she digs into the dry earth. Every time the hoe hits the ground, the dust engulfs her.

But Musende, a single parent who supports her four children and 10 grandchildren, is not concerned about the scorching 35-degree Celsius heat nor the dust. She is worried that the delayed onset of the rainy season will affect her maize production.

26 Mar 2013 description

By Baboki Kayawe

LUSITU, Zambia, Mar 26 2013 (IPS) - Indigenous people who were displaced from the Zambezi Valley almost six decades ago for the construction of the Kariba Dam say they have not benefited from the development they made way for.

The building of the Kariba hydroelectric dam was supposed to usher in a bright future for the people of Zambia and Zimbabwe who gave up their land for its construction.

01 Nov 2012 description
report Inter Press Service

By Nebert Mulenga

LUSAKA, Nov 1 2012 (IPS) - Increased agricultural development in Zambia will actually compromise the country’s food security as peasant farmers continue to be driven off their customary land to pave the way for large-scale local and foreign agribusiness, according to the University of Zambia’s dean of the school of agriculture, Dr. Mickey Mwala.

“Smallholder farmers are the people responsible for food security in Zambia. So, evicting them could have a long-term effect on the country’s food security situation, if prolonged and extended,” he told IPS.

07 Jun 2012 description
report Inter Press Service

By Lewis Mwanangombe

LUSAKA, Jun 7, 2012 (IPS) - Bupe Bana-Victor has lived in the Mwense district of Luapula Province in northern Zambia all her life. And for her, water talk is synonymous with the Luapula River, which lies just 20 metres from her village and snakes through the entire region before it joins the Lualaba River – a tributary of the mighty Congo, Africa’s second-largest river.