Maize growing in Malawi. (Photo by Searchlight Ministries)
Stalk borer outbreak latest problem plaguing Malawi
By Gary Fallesen
, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Floods followed by drought followed by food shortages and a myriad of problems have left the people of southern Malawi in a quandary. “We do not know what is happening with us,” Pastor Duncan Nyozani confessed.
Pastor Duncan, a long-time Climbing For Christ member and ministry partner, asks for prayer for his beleaguered African nation.
The current rainy season finally provided relief from a drought that began after devastating floods in January 2015 destroyed land and lives. But the favorable rains brought other issues, such as mosquitoes and an outbreak of malaria.
Climbing For Christ has sent US$2,800 – provided by Hope Lutheran Church in Rochester, NY – for the purchase of mosquito nets for those in Duncan’s churches. On the heels of this blessing came yet another problem.
“Sadly,” Duncan reported on Friday (Feb. 10), “I would like to let you know that our crops – maize plants – are badly attacked by stalk borers. It has become a nationwide problem.
“The rains have been very favorable,” he said. “If it was not for this outbreak of stalk borers it could be a good harvest this year.
“The problem can be treated, but unfortunately pesticides and chemicals are very expensive here in Malawi. As we are facing this severe famine people cannot afford to buy chemicals to treat this maize disease. We are very worried that this will extend famine in the country.”
The pest (above): a stalk borer in a photo from a Malawi newspaper on Friday. The results (below): damaged crops photographed by Pastor Duncan Nyozani.
Climbing For Christ responded to this latest challenge by immediately sending US$4,000 for the purchase of pesticides and to pay for the cost of spraying fields owned by about 500 people. These funds were drawn from a $20,000 food relief gift made in October 2016 by a C4C Canada member. The gift was an answer to Duncan’s prayer for $3,000 a month for six months to help hundreds of families with basic food needs. Two months of funding remained ($6,000) so we determined with Duncan that spending $4,000 on the current crop was a wise investment. “It’s not too late (to treat the stalk borer outbreak),” he told us.
This leaves us with $2,000 for the purchase of maize to feed people in February and March. We appeal to you to consider giving to offset some of these costs and provide much-needed assistance to our brothers and sisters in Malawi.
We also ask you to pray for the people of Malawi.
, a prayer guide to every nation in the world, offers this about Malawi:
“Malawi faces serious challenges in the future, such as the combination of poverty, high population growth and increasing pressure on agricultural land. High levels of national debt, AIDS and unemployment, when added to the aforementioned economic factors, produce challenges that will require wisdom, long-term planning and proactive policies by the government. The grip of poverty hampers development not only in the financial sense but also in terms of education, AIDS prevention, family life and even effective ministry and discipleship. Pray for leaders in Malawi, most of whom are church members, to act with wisdom, humility and long-term planning on biblical principles.”
Climbing For Christ sends relief funds as God provides. If the Spirit moves you to give, please mail your contribution to Climbing For Christ, c/o Malawi Relief, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616. Or CLICK HERE
and give online via PayPal, and send an email to info@ClimbingForChrist.org
telling us about your donation. Thank you.
In Canada, make checks payable to The Great Commission Foundation, and on the memo line add Climbing For Christ CANADA and note “Malawi Relief.” Mail your support to: The Great Commission Foundation, #3 – 1335 Trans Canada Way SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1B 1J1. Or CLICK HERE to give online. In the Comments box write: “For Malawi Relief.”