Concern Worldwide, a company limited by guarantee and exempted from using the word "limited", Reg. No. 39647. Reg. Charity No. CHY 5745,
Registered in Ireland, Registered address is 52-55 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2.
Phone: +353 1 417 7700
To hospital with a goat
Travelling through Zimbabwe, it’s easy to see the devastating effects the last few years have had on people.
Driving through country towns that only a few years back were vibrant and buzzing, you’re now more likely to see boarded-up shops and dusty, empty streets. The small country shops and supermarkets used to be hives of activity in Zimbabwean towns. They now show nearly empty shelves.
In Harare, although basic food items are still expensive, people are visiting shops to buy bread, milk, flour and rice. Bigger towns outside Harare are also stocking up their shelves with these basic commodities and small amounts of foreign currency.
Trading without money
Go further into the countryside, though, and you’d be hard pressed to find a dollar or rand. For these rural communities, the only way to buy soap, salt or oil is to barter.
Now the harvesting has begun, people are carrying buckets of maize to shops which they’ll use to trade. Before the harvest, when there was no maize to barter with; people here had to use their livestock to pay for services. It wasn’t unusual to see a person being transported to hospital with their goat in tow.
Concern has been implementing emergency response programmes to help people cope with the crisis. We have been distributing food aid and setting up cholera treatment centres.
We’re are also focusing on ensuring communities are have enough food in the longer term. As part of this, we’ve had huge success this year helping farmers to improve their harvest. Read more about this in my next post.