14 November 2017

Tons of Food Delivered by Air

There can be no harvest without water
The severe drought in the Zambezi Delta in Mozambique is causing much needed crops to die resulting in extreme famine conditions. As Jaoquim Arota, the responsible district officer of Marromeu, inspected the drought affected area he was compelled to fight against the famine together with the UN World Food Program and Mercy Air.

No rain
The seeds were sown a long time ago, but there was no harvest: An uncommon period of drought in the Zambezi Delta has led to a severe and dangerous food shortage. A farmer in the district of Marromeu walked for three days to the district officer to report their desperate situation. A poor harvest had been forecast since no rainfall had been experienced in the previous months. Due to the low precipitation, the farmers sowed their seeds early in the season, as advised by the district officer.  But now the situation is severe. Increasing the severity of the situation is the low level of the ground water making the hand dug wells completely useless.

Request for help by the World Food Program
As Arota was surveying the area in a Mercy Air Helicopter, he realised that some villages are more affected by the famine than others. The families of these villages already share the little they have left but it is obvious that these supplies won’t last for long. To prevent the worst, Arota applied via the local government to the UN World Food Programme for food supplies - with success!
Transportation is of extreme importance
Food assistance is only of help if it can be delivered. That is why Arota, on behalf of the local government, asked Mercy Air for help with the transportation. The logistical obstacles that must be overcome to transport all the bags of rice, beans and sorghum to the villages are tremendous as there are no land routes. The helicopter of Mercy Air can cover these distances in just 20 minutes. 

Grateful family
Costa and Graca with their four children are very well known in their village Luawe. Graca’s story touches the heart: She used to be a witch doctor and experienced numerous dramatic incidents. Through a difficult life, which has included eight miscarriages, she has learned to never give up even when all seems hopeless. During the period of food shortage, she was the one who gave hope to everyone around her and encouraged the other villagers. For Graca, her family and the whole village it was a day of rejoicing as the Mercy Air helicopter unexpectedly arrived with food supplies. Brightly she said: “Many doubted if anyone would come to our rescue but now we all have experienced God’s provision.”

Thank you.


For the Mercy air team.

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