We are used to the rain in New Zealand but imagine fearing it. For 14-year-old Prisca, this is her story.Prisca lives with her mum and brother on a small farm (80m by 80m) in southern Malawi. Every morning she gets up at 4.30 and helps her mum in the field weeding the crops before school. They weed the crops in the morning and again in the afternoon to get a better harvest (how much crop is produced).
Prisca and her family get nearly all their food from their farm so it’s really important that the harvest is good, so they have enough to eat. Their diet is simple, pumpkin leaves and maize paste called nsima, two or three times a day.
Malawi’s climate is dry and hot for most of the year, with 4 months of rain between December and March. They need the rain for the crops to grow…but not too much. As the land is so dry, when it does rain, the crops can easily be washed away or destroyed.
Prisca walks to school every day. In the dry season, she walks through the fields and crosses the stream. When the rains start, the stream gets too high and she walks a much longer route through the village and across the bridge. About once a week during the rainy season, the bridge floods to the point of being unusable and she can’t get to school.