In southern Africa, the October 2006 to April 2007 rainy season produced excessive rainfall causing floods in low-lying areas in many countries in the region. Flooding destroyed homes, submerged roads and swept away bridges, crops and food supplies. In Zambia, farmers who make their living by producing maize, groundnuts, soya beans, cotton and other crops were most affected by flood damage. As a result, many people were left homeless and without food.
Episcopal Relief and Development is working in partnership with the Zambian Anglican Council (ZAC) to supply assistance such as food, clothing, farming supplies and equipment. "We are working with our Zambian partners to help people recover from these events that have threatened their homes and livelihoods and will continue to support programs that protect the environment and sustain and increase agricultural production," said Janette O'Neill, ERD's Senior Director for Africa Programs.
In addition to providing emergency assistance, ERD and ZAC will collaborate on long-term relief programs to reduce the rate of disease and hunger among people affected after floods. The programs will focus on teaching flood survival skills, conducting food needs assessment in flooding areas and mobilizing communities and chiefs to create disaster management strategies.
ERD has been partnering with ZAC through integrated primary health care programs. In Zambia, malaria is the cause of death for 40% of children under 5 years old and 20% of pregnant women. ERD and ZAC are teaching communities how to identify and treat malaria infection and educating them on the importance of sleeping under a long-lasting insecticide-treated net at night.
To make a contribution to help people affected by this crisis, donate to the Africa Relief Fund at http://www.er-d.org/ or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, Africa Relief Fund, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116.