With heavy hearts, and about half of our staff, we are trying to get Zamani Farms back on stream. We will resume deliveries to Abuja next week. We are yet to take a long term decision about the future of the farm in its present location, but for the time being we will operate with the staff available and see what we can do to revive the farm. We very much need the income to be able to survive and to cater for our refugees and surviving workers.
I will send you a separate email at the weekend letting you know what is happening generally in Kuru Jenta, and news of our staff who are refugees.
Actually, the crops on the farm fared much better than our people did. Somehow they managed to grow fairly well without water for over a week, and they are in pretty good condition.
So for next week we have a lot of nice veggies on the farm that need picking including good lettuces (I tasted all of them yesterday to make sure they are still sweet, and they are), lots of fennel, kohlrabi and the other usual things. Consult the order form to see what is available. (Note: most of our ripe or half ripe pawpaws were removed (presumably by hungry residents looking for something to eat) and most of our avocados as well. We might have some for next week, but probably they will need a few weeks before we can get any ripe enough to pick).
We have canceled all previous orders, so if you need an order (or have one pending which was not sent), please send it again, hopefully as soon as possible. We would ask you to please place Tuesday orders by Sunday morning, as due to so many problems getting around Jos, it will take us much longer than normal to organise the shipment. Friday orders should reach us Tuesday evening latest.
Antonella has been delivering her items this week and informs me that there are a great many check points on the road so that our delivery staff will take much longer getting to Abuja than they usually do. We anticipate some delays on the day of delivery. Please be patient. It will probably take a couple of weeks before things settle down and they can remove some of the army check points within Jos and along the roads to other towns.
If any of you still have any relief material to send down to Jos, Audu should be able to bring them since he is coming back to Jos with an empty van. Please let me know ahead of time so that we can arrange pick up. Our refugees who are in camps in Bauchi and elsewhere still need clothes for themselves and their children, blankets, mattresses and cooking utensils. A large amount of material was delivered to camps in Jos, but there are over 40,000 displaced persons, and not all of them have received help, although the Red Cross and other agencies have been doing a wonderful job.
We thank all of you who have sent donations, either directly or through the Red Cross in Abuja and Lagos. You don't know how much this means to the people in need.
Please help us by getting your orders in on time.
Thank you all again for all of your emails encouraging us in our work here. We will see how best we can repair the situation we find ourselves in so that we can continue to supply vegetables to you.
Thursday, January 28, 2010