Farmers in southern Malawi in urgent need after intense flooding UN agency

“Failure to respond promptly will have lasting consequences,” said Florence Rolle, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative to Malawi. “Flood-hit families risk harvesting nothing or very little this year, leaving them food insecure at the very outset of the agricultural season and undermining much of the progress being made in reducing food insecurity in Malawi.” she said.The Government hopes its plan will help to put affected farmers back on track to plant and harvest food during the agricultural season, and FAO will work closely with them to supply short-cycle varieties of maize, rice, sweet potato, cowpeas, vegetable seeds and cassava cuttings for urgent replanting. The hope is that some fields and crops could be ready by June, mitigating the need to rely on long-term humanitarian programs.At the same time, local families need new livestock to ensure animal protein intake, and irrigation facilities must be restored before the dry season to ensure food production. Untold numbers of goats and chickens have perished where waters rose with unexpected speed, while remaining livestock is at heightened risk of disease outbreaks.Malawi is regularly hit by floods and droughts, requiring emergency responses of varying size each year. This year, flooding has caused displacement of over 170,000 people, while an estimated 116,000 households have lost their crops and livestock. In Nsanje district alone, 79 people are confirmed dead with another 153 people still missing.This year’s rains have come ahead of their usual schedule, repeatedly bursting the banks along the Shire and Ruo rivers, and warnings of flash floods remain in place, with more rain forecast for the country’s North. The floods come after last year saw a bumper maize harvest, with overall cereal production rising by 8 per cent, reducing core food prices and cutting by more than half the number of people assessed as food insecure. With 86 per cent of the population living in rural areas and engaged in farming and livestock rearing, long-term watershed management infrastructures are urgently needed so that even intense flooding is less damaging than this year.The FAO has been working closely with the Government and other partners in Malawi to build more resilient livelihoods and reduce exposure to risks such as floods and dry spells. Last year, working alongside the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the FAO piloted an approach to building resilience, which integrates nutrition education, climate smart agricultural practices and disaster risk reduction. read more

Three fallen Kentucky firefighters to be honored at national memorial

Jeffrey Crossfield James Donnelly Ray Hollingsworth EMMITSBURG, Md. (WTVQ) – Three Kentucky firefighters who died in the line of duty will be honored next week at a national memorial.The 38th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will be held Sunday, October 6 in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and will honor 92 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2018 and 27 firefighters who died in the line of duty in previous years. – Advertisement – The Kentucky firefighters being honored are 54-year-old Jeffrey Crossfield, who served on the City of Paris Fire Department; 63-year-old James Donnelly, of the Bowling Green Fire Department; and 60-year-old Ray Hollingsworth, who served on the West Knox Volunteer Fire Department. All three died in 2018.Their names, along with those of 116 other fallen firefighters, will be read at the memorial. Their loved ones will receive an American flag that had been flown above the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the U.S. Capitol Dome. The firefighters will also be remembered in a special Candlelight Service on Saturday, October 5, where a bronze plaque bearing the names of the fallen will be officially added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. read more