Since January, Canadian Foodgrains Bank resource co-ordinator Harold Penner and his wife Marianne have been at a Growing Nations project at Maphutseng, Lesotho, in southern Africa. Before leaving for Ethiopia, Harold sent photos of what should be a welcome event for farmers — the arrival of rain. His comments follow.
In the last few days we have had a lot of rain. Every rain brings joy to the hearts of farmers as they hope for their crops to grow and mature. But every rain also brings pain as we see the precious topsoil of Lesotho being washed down the river.
The river here at Maphutseng can rise several feet in an hour, and then go down just as rapidly when the rain stops. But the water is a muddy brown slurry as the topsoil washes away to be deposited somewhere downstream or taken down to the ocean on the coast of South Africa.
August Basson, founder of Growing Nations, says “Every time it rains, God cries. And John Hebblewaithe, who spent much of his childhood and youth here calls it an “environmental disaster.”
As you pray for the people of Africa, please pray that people will see that plowing the land continues to exacerbate erosion in many places, just as it does here in Lesotho. And that people will adopt the new methods of farming referred to here as Conservation Agriculture, or Farming God’s Way.