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Photos of a Garden near Thondwe Village
Zomba District, Malawi

This garden is but one of many in the Zomba District near to the southeast area of Zomba mountain which shows the effect of drought. This garden, like many others in the area, was planted after the first rain, a rain which did not soak the ground, but only made the soil moist enough to cause seed to sprout and come up. Out of desperation and in hope of rain continuing to come, many people planted. As you can see, their planting has been for nothing. The condition of the plants is such that a rain today would not reverse the damage the plants have already suffered because of the lack of water. Everywhere we traveled today in the southeast area of Zomba district, Dec. 7, 2002, all the gardens looked similar to this one, and some even worse.

Many areas of the country have not planted because they have not had enough rain to cause the seed to sprout. If there is any consolation about this, it is that those who have not planted have not wasted their seed. Those who have lost their crops will need to plant again, i.e. if the rains come. This means they have had to buy expensive hybrid seed twice.

Three photos are close ups of the corn so that you may see how extensive the damage of the drought has been to the plants. --Jim Franklin, Blantyre, Malawi

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