Caritas Calls for “swift” Measures to Protect Zambians from Drought Devastation

Credit: Caritas Zambia

Caritas Zambia is calling on the Zambian government to put in place “swift and effective” measures to protect the livelihoods of the people of God affected by ongoing drought in the country. 

The Southern African is currently grappling with drought occasioned by reduced rainfall in the 2023-2024 rainy season. 

In a statement signed by Caritas Zambia Executive Director, Fr. Gabriel Mapulanga, officials of the entity of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) express “deep concern over the prevailing drought situation in the country, impacting agricultural communities and threatening food security.”

“As the affected provinces, including Eastern, Southern, Central, Western, and Lusaka, grapple with the impact of the drought, Caritas Zambia urges the Government to prioritize swift and effective interventions to safeguard the livelihoods of the affected communities,” Caritas Zambia officials say Thursday, February 29.

They add that the government ought to detail immediate actions it plans to take to assist affected households.


They say the Ministry of Agriculture's response to the drought has been “inadequate in guiding farmers on necessary response and mitigation measures” and call upon the government to “share a comprehensive plan on how the current drought situation will be addressed.”

In October 2023, Zambia’s Meteorological Department issued a warning about the impending El-Nino, indicating an adverse effect on the 2023/2024 rainy season.

According to Caritas Zambia officials, the warning came “too late” as farmers had already invested in inputs. 

“The consequence of the inadequate information is evident, with over 200,000 hectares of crops in Central Province alone drying up,” the Caritas officials say.

They note that farmers are, however, employing traditional seed varieties and agro-ecology practices have shown more tolerance to the harsh conditions.

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In the statement, Caritas Zambia officials call on the government to explore and adopt agroecology as a sustainable methodology to support small-scale farmers in planting and growing crops even during challenging conditions, thereby contributing positively to the country's food security.

They also urge the government to put in place measures that ensure that GMOs do not gain entry into the Zambian market.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.