As southern Africa grapples with devastating drought, maize fields lie empty, the soil is like sand and water must be shared between cattle and people
It rained in Mbalavala two weeks ago. The clouds built up from the south, a shower cleared the dusty air, but then, cruelly, it stopped after an hour. For a moment, the 120 families who live in the southern Mozambican village thought their two-year drought was ending.
But that was it. Since then there has been no hint of rain and the chances of planting crops this year in Mbalavala diminish every day as El Niño, the natural weather phenomenon that upturns normal weather patterns every few years in southern Africa, reaches its peak and Mozambique comes to the end of another dry rainy season.