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    Issue 4,
    May 2002






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Due to erratic rainfall, flooding, and drought, countries in Southern Africa are facing the worst food crisis in Africa since 1984. It has been estimated that 19 million people in 6 countries are facing drastic food shortages.

The crop failure comes on top of two bad seasons across the region which had left the level of maize stocks too low to offset the current shortfall.

Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are the worst effected regions with sporadic rainfall causing flooding which has washed away many of the crops.
In such times of famine, often the only source of food available to people in the rural areas is the wildlife. Hungry people are also indiscrimate people. They will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the survival of their families.

African Conservancy is working with partners on the ground in Zambia to distribute maize to some of the worst effected areas, in an attempt to avert a surge in poaching.

The combination of low stock levels and low production has led to higher prices for maize in the region which is further aggravating the food crisis.

    When people can't eat, the environment suffers. We have committed to send maize in 4 of the 5 Zambian national park areas in which we operate and we need your help.
    Please pledge what you can to feed these poor people. Send your cheques made to African Conservancy/Food For Africa, 2590 San Clemente Avenue, Vista, CA 92084.
    Remember, every dollar helps and time is of the essence. Thank you!


More than 1,000 different languages are spoken in Africa. However, Somalia is the only country in the world where all the citizens speak one language, Somali.  
The tongue of a giraffe can be as long as 45 cm!
The deep call of the ground hornbill is sometimes mistaken for lion grunts.
The Sahara Desert is expanding southwards at an average of 0.8 km ( mile) a month.
The temperature of a crocodile's nest determines the gender of the young. Eggs incubated at around 89 degrees F produce females, whilst those below 87 degrees produce males.
The only place where shoals of fresh water sardines are found is in Lake Tanganyika.
When a banded mongoose is attacked, the rest of the tribe, up to 40 strong, will advance as a tightly knit pack and invariably put the aggressor to flight. For this reason they are treated with great caution by predators such as jackal. Each member of a meerkat colony has a function: babysitter, sentry, hunter, or teacher. They rotate and share the roles. The meerkat in the picture is the sentry standing guard while the others in the colony forage or nap. Various alarm calls indicate the presence of different predators.
This month, the focus is on Malawi, a country of great beauty, currently stricken by famine.

Official name: Republic of Malawi
Capital: Lilongwe
Currency: Malawi Kwacha (MK)
Languages: English, Chichewa (both official)
Religions: Christianity, Islam
Population: 10 million
Land area: 45,747 sq miles
Bordering countries: Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia
Life Expectancy: 37 years (men), 38 years (women)
Main Exports: Tabacco, tea, sugar, cotton
Average annual income: US $170
Gained independence: 1964 from the British
President: Dr. Bakili Muluzi
Places of interest: Liwonde National Park, Mount Mulanje, Nyika Plateau, islands of Chizumulu and Likoma, Lake Malawi National Park.
Click here to read more about travel in Malawi in the Lonely Planet.
A brief introduction: Long inhabited by Bantu-speaking peoples, Malawi enjoyed relative calm and isolation from the outside world until the early 1800s, when Arab slave traders swooped in and carried away many of its residents.

Dr. David Livingstone visited Malawi, then known as Nyasaland, or "Land of the Lake" in 1859 and Malawi was colonized by Great Britain in 1883 and remained under British control until 1964, when it gained its independence. The country's name was changed to Malawi, which means "reflected light of bright haze."


1 Somaliland
The breakaway republic of Somaliland began a week-long period of national mourning at the beginning of this month, one day after the death of its president. Mohammed Ibrahim Egal died on Friday in South Africa from complications following surgery, the South African foreign ministry said. Senior Somaliland officials have named as his successor the vice- president, Dahir Riyale Kahin.
Click here for more news on this story

2 Uganda
Uganda is set to become a birders paradise. Tourists from the USA, UK, Spain and France are heading to Uganda to encounter the endangered Shoebill, Standard winged Nightjar, the great Blue Turaco, the Green Broadbill and Albertine Rift Bird.
Click here for more news on this story


3 Kenya
Elephant poaching is on the increase in anticipation of the lifting of the ban on ivory trading in November.
Click here for more news on this story

South Africa
A rare megamouth shark was washed up in South Africa last month. It is the first of the species ever to be seen in South Africa.T.
Click here for more news on this story

3 Kenya
Landslides and floods have followed 3 weeks of exceptionally heavy rains along the East coast of Africa, and has claimed many lives. Kenya has been the worst hit with 68 dead and 150,000 people being displaced.
Click here for more news on this story

5 Malawi
The European Union is sending 95,000 tonnes of emergency supplies to the Malawi, where famine is threatening the lives of up to 3 million people. America and Britain have also pledged food supplies.
Click here for more news on this story

6 Mozambique
3 days of national mourning were declared after 196 people died in the worst rail disaster in the history of Mozambique.
Click here for more news on this story

Our new online Marketplace is now open and you can support our programs simply by using our links to shop for items you normally purchase.
How does it work? Simply. We have affilated ourselves with several online retailers, such as and ExOfficio. When you click to their site from our Marketplace, using the links we've created for your convenience, we automatically receive 10-15% of the total amount of purchase.
All revenue generated from sales will be channeled into our programs. So please, bookmark this link, and shop for a cause.

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Copyright The African Conservancy 2001