The current drought and food shortage in the southern African nations seems to have triggered leaders to recall the prophetic message to their region given by Nigerian prophet, T.B. Joshua as the year 2016 was ushered in.
On Sunday 3rd January, 2016, the cleric addressed the Southern African nations as a whole, declaring: “There will be scarcity and shortage of food because of little rain and at wrong times, which is not good for farming. Many farmers will be discouraged.” Speaking further on the solution to the crisis, he stated: “Government should be encouraged by building dams and irrigation mechanisms using available water from the sea.”
Southern Africa endured a poor harvest combined with a strong El Niño weather phenomenon, which resulted in reduced rains across the region. Today, the scarcity of both food and water has prompted intensive discussions onirrigation projects, the building of dams and the use of seawater.
The Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) in April assessed the situation, stating: “The low rainfall received by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) calls for an urgent need to invest in regional water infrastructure such as irrigation to ensure that farmers are cushioned from the effects of the changing climate.” Analyzing the potential impact of irrigation in the region, it referred to the use of seawater. “Nine SADC member states have access to oceans. It is important, therefore, for SADC countries to take advantage of their proximity to the oceans to draw the water for agricultural use.”
Seeming to acknowledge the prophecy, Southern African leaders have responded to the current crisis with plans for extensive irrigation projects.
Malawi’s president, Peter Mutharika, in response to the persistent food shortage officially declared Malawi in “a state of national disaster”. He directed all water boards in the drought ravaged country to venture into large scale irrigation programmes, officially commissioning the K6.4 billion World Bank funded Salima Water Supply Scheme.
The severe drought in the region has scorched maize fields and placed about 16 million people at risk of hunger, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in March. WFP’s southern Africa spokesman David Orr, confirmed that it was currently assisting nearly 3-million people in Malawi. “The situation is quite dire and we believe the worst is still to come. It will take a long time before the situation improves. Any improvement in the next months would be negligible.”
Namibian agricultural minister, John Mutorwa stated that the use of seawater is the only solution to the water shortage the country is experiencing currently.
He pledged N$600 million for the water programme budget for the 2016/17 financial year, stating that this figure was merely a drop in the ocean because of the urgency of the crisis. Having exhausted discussions on other remedies, he categorically stated: “The remaining viable option is seawater. It is the only option to embark upon and government has a plan on how to go about doing so”. Detailing the water programme plan, he affirmed that a number of new water supply pipeline projects had been initiated and are being developed. Speaking specifically on construction of dams, he explained that construction and extraction works on the Neckartal dam project will continue and be expedited.
Mozambique equally issued a “red alert” because of drought conditions in the country’s central and south regions affecting 1.5-million people. The government released $9.5m of emergency aid after 90% of crops were destroyed in some areas and thousands of cattle died from lack of water.
Other southern African nations are not left out with concerns growing over a hunger crisis spreading across most of the region. Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia are suffering food supply problems, while South Africa has said the recent drought was its worst in more than 100 years.
The highlight of this prophetic declaration comes in the midst of intense media attention on the controversial pastor who had also stated that the months of February, March and April would be peculiar for southern African leaders. The recent predicament of South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma sparked international debate on the prophecy. Malawian president, Peter Muthariaka even went to the extent of organizing a prayer vigil for his safety and well-being, fearing that the prophecy was referring to his death, remembering how T.B. Joshua had prophesied the passing of his older brother, four years earlier.