1.28.2006

Drought plagues Tanzania

Our Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA is partnered with a companion synod, the North-Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Word arrived today from Anneth Munga, wife of Bishop Stephen Munga, about growing drought conditions in the country. Water is always an issue in this region, and this shortage is growing worse. Please keep the people there in prayer! Here's an excerpt from her email:
Many sincere thanks for praying for and with us during these difficult times. Here in Lushoto and surrounding areas it doesn't look bad because the market is full with fruits, potatoes, rice, dried fish, vegetables, etc. But the water shortage is tangible, people are often on the way looking for new places to fetch water because all old springs and rivers have dried up. You might remember that when you travel up to Lushoto from Mombo, you could see a small "waterfall" before reaching Soni. It has dried up totally!

Dodoma is in the middle part of Tanzania. It is a semi-arid area by nature and the drought has made the situation much worse. So the newspapers have reported about cows etc dying in thousands. In the National parks in the north of Tanzania, tourists have informed us about how they have seen hippos rolling in mud, trying to survive. As you travel along the main road from Arusha to Dar es Salaam you see skiny cows walking around. Some cattle keepers walk with their herds for miles in search for water. Others just leave them to die. You try to look all sides as you travel along the road, and it's just grey. As I said, no reports have come out about people who have died from hunger. What we suspect is that in this situation, malnutrition and dehydration e.g. among children can hardly be avoided which eventually contributes to death.

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