Thursday, March 30, 2006

Visit to the Lui Diocese Farm (26 Feb.)

We had heard that the Lui Diocese had a farm and wanted recommendations about how to make it more productive. Sunday afternoon, some of our group went on a trip to that farm. I was not there; I only heard the stories.

The diocese has suffered greatly under the drought. Here is one of the plants. I don't know a whole lot about farming, but I think I know enough to realize that this is a pitiful yield for farmers who have been tending their crops all through the meager growing season!

I understand that the river is very close to the farm. But there is no technology to pump the water up the farm, and certainly no system for irrigation. So the crops are at the whim of the rains and drought.

When our friends returned to the compound, this led to much more discussion. How – how?? – can we begin to help them address all these problems? To save the crops, they need water. To get water, they need a pump of some sort. To operate a pump, they need energy of some sort. But there is no electricity, and no operating “alternate energy,” – and darned if I can think of how to provide it as quickly as they need it, they who even now are enduring a massive drought that reduced their harvest last fall to 20% of the normal harvest.

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