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Combatting drought in Malawi

Concern Worldwide’s irrigation scheme in Chitukula, Malawi is helping farmers combat drought and provide for their families.

During the January rains, tobacco farmers in Chitukula work hard to make the most of the rainfall. From the proceeds of their harvest, they send their children to school, buy food and invest in their crops. But in the past, unreliable rains resulted in chronic hunger for many families.

“A life free of worries”

However, this year things are different for the farmers. Wellington Kachigamba, 46, says:

I am now living a life free of worries. This time last year, I would have been busy in other people's fields working for food.

Transforming lives

Things changed last year when Concern – with its partner Hope for the Heart – set up an irrigation club. The club provides irrigation equipment to each member for a day so that everyone has an opportunity to use it. This has led to a dramatic transformation in the members’ lives.

Wellington says:

I had nowhere to get food and had to make my family work cultivating other people's fields so that we could survive. We could buy only barely enough to feed ourselves and my children would go to school on an empty stomach.. My children are performing better in class because they are no longer hungry. 

A shield from hunger

Regina, Wellington's wife says:

Irrigation farming has shielded us from the perennial hunger that we experience every year. Even if the rains fail this year, at least we have something to keep us going from our harvest..Currently we are pruning the first leaves of our tobacco plant which we will sell to vendors. We will use the money to supplement our food stocks and pay school fees for our children.

Read the full article by Joseph Scott in The Huffington Post.