While the rest of the world is semi-paralysed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the work in Tabora continues. There is currently little evidence of this disease having reached Tabora. This may be due to the fact that the population profile is very different to that in the West – whereas ‘western’ countries often have ageing populations, about half of the population of Tabora is under 18. Schools and universities were closed very early by the Tanzanian government and masks became mandatory very early on. It may just be that the problem is hidden due to the inability to test. Please continue to pray that Tabora will continue to be spared.
The bigger risks in this part of the world are illnesses like malaria, HIV infections, sickle cell disease and TB and the risk of the harvests failing. FMI staff are working hard to protect the clients that we look after and now the rainwater ponds are full and the floods have subsided, planting, compost making, watering and growing can start. Potatoes are growing OK at the moment. There will hopefully be a crop of cassava in September. But the maize harvest which has been poor means that this staple may run out very soon.
One of the problems locally is that local farmers will sell their food for export. There are good roads to the country’s borders from Tabora. Unfortunately, while selling food now may bring in an income, in a few month’s time the prices may rise rapidly if the harvest is poor [and they haven’t been good recently]. To protect our clients FMI buys food now while it is reasonably priced and places it in secure storage for distribution over the next few months. FMCP-UK didn’t need to pay for this lot of food as it was funded privately by another donor. A lorry had to be sent into the bush to collect 72 large double wrapped 120 litre bags of rice. This is hard work and the workmen needed to be fed when they returned.
This food will be used to help support clients like Luka and his family. Unable to afford to pay for the epilepsy medicine that they need, FMI provides support and care to this family. Those of you who have followed the Familia Moja story from the very beginning will possible remember the miraculous story of Luka. You can see it here on another of our ‘FM Shorts’ – a short FMCP-UK film about the work undertaken by FMI.