BHISHO, SOUTH AFRICA-- The debilitating drought in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province is having a debilitating impact on poor rural villagers and seasonal farm workers.

Although relief is being sent in from other provinces, more and more livestock are dying for lack of grazing and farners are facing a massive economic crisis. The drought-affected areas of Eastern Cape have experienced their lowest rainfall in 107 years.

Farmers say they are battling to survive. One farmer in the area says: Sometimes your workers come to you and say, 'Can't you pay us more' but we can't pay them more because there is no money.

At this moment we don't have water on our farm but today I'm so grateful for the help we are receiving. I just want to say thank you for the mealies, with this ongoing drought even the animals will be happy.

"If I never had such good reliable workers I really would be lost. I'm an old granny now and the workers have assisted me so much I owe them everything.


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