Climate change and its affect on food supply

Africa has been identified as the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, owing to many of the continent's countries being grouped around the equator. The changes in our climate will continue to pose a threat to communities' ability to grow healthy crops. Projections indicate that warming over the African continent will be greater than the global average, with an average increase of 3–4°C over the next century. This will reduce crop yields, which in turn will increase the price of food and force people to change production and consumption patterns. At the same time, according to a recent report by the UN’s Population Division, population growth in Africa is likely to double over the next 30 years, meaning there will be more mouths to feed while food production weakens.

According to the latest report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation  (FAO) The state of food security and nutrition in the world, hunger is on the rise across Africa, with under-nourishment standing at almost 20%. As a result the number of children suffering from stunting in sub-Saharan Africa now stands at 56.8 million, which is 40% of the total global figure. In Burundi, where we support CAPE, the percentage of children suffering from stunting is 44%, making it crucial for them to have access to healthy food.

These factors will increase the level of food insecurity and malnutrition among Sub Saharan African countries where most of the population depends on climate sensitive agro-economic activities.

  Failing crops in sub-Saharan Africa

Improving lives through the power of porridge

In an effort to counteract the shortage of food supply and lack of access to healthy meals, over the last year BWAUK has been supporting projects to promote school feeding at several schools including: We Are the Future Centre in Sierra Leone, CAPE (Centre d'Aide et de Protection de l’Enfant)’s Murakaza School in Burundi, and the Imizi Children’s Centre in Rwanda. Thanks to invaluable donations received through our 'Mugs of Happiness' appeal, we have been able to provide school children across our projects with a bowl of healthy, highly nutritional porridge every day during their school day. In Burundi, where the Murakaza School is supplying free breakfast, nine year old student Darlene explains why this is so important to her:

When the teachers told us we were going to receive food, we were all super happy. Every day, we get a bowl of porridge. This really makes us want to come to school and work hard. Our tummies ache less in the afternoon. It is also very helpful for our mother”.

School children happily eating their porridge

Long term, sustainable solutions to rising hunger in sub-Saharan Africa

Local communities have already begun to develop incredible projects that are helping to combat the crisis by increasing food production in innovative ways. In Sierra Leone, the We Are The Future’s (WAF) school Kitchen Garden Project is producing enough fresh vegetables to feed 230 children each day. The aim is to extend this, by demonstrating to other local schools how this can be done, inspiring them to do the same. Several of the children’s parents at WAF were so impressed with the results that they have started their own individual ‘garden projects’ at home, growing food to feed their families.

Planting seeds with children at We are the Future project

Keeping up the good work

Sylvia Costantini, CEO for Bread and Water For Africa UK commented:

"While these are only small-scale projects, they are all capable of being ‘scaled-up’, meaning if we can continue to raise the funds needed for this vital work, we will be able to increase our reach."

One of our short-term objectives is to expand the current garden from 0.5 to 0.8 acres, including a drip irrigation system, improved water storage (a 10KL tank) and a second greenhouse to be better prepared against climate change and increase production by 70%. With this added production of fresh produce, we will then be able to roll out our School Kitchen to the Cape Community school, which is just across the road, but where children don't get food. Instead, they watch through the gate as the We Are the Future students eat. This is just unacceptable. 

You can help us provide 310 children at the Cape Community school in Freetown Sierra Leone with healthy lunches to combat malnutrition by donating to our Kitchen Garden appeal.

Donate button long

How we plan to make our gardens grow!