Supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No 2: Zero Hunger

The Butterfly Tree provides funding for the following food security projects:

  • schools to create sustainable feeding programmes.
  • sustainable income-generating enterprises for women.
  • sustainable income-generating enterprises to empower young people with physical and mental health challenges.
  • emergency food relief

We donate seeds and fertilizer to schools to support sustainable feeding programmes. Some schools have received water reticulation systems. In addition we have initiated projects for women to create food security and sustainable income-generating enterprises at Muyunda, Senkobo, Musokotwane, Sekute, and Siambelele. Three villages, Mukuni, Ngandu and Kamwi, were selected in 2023 to initiate food security and sustainable income-generating enterprises for young people with physical and mental health challenges. There is very little available for these vulnerable young people. We also provide emergency food relief and in 2019-20 we helped 10,000 households and engaged another UK charity to help a further 10,000 households. These donations helped to prevent a famine.


During the drought of 2019-20 The Butterfly Tree provided emergency food relief to remote areas in Mukuni, Sekute and Nyawa Chiefdom. Hunger, and in some areas, famine was widespread. People were living on wild fruits and roots, going two months without a proper meal. 


Southern and Western Provinces of Zambia are suffering from a severe drought, virtually no rain has fallen during this season. I saw the devastating effect taking place in the Southern Province in March – rivers and streams are dry and crops have perished. By October I saw signs of hunger in every area where we work. No rain is expected until November/December. Many people in rural areas are eating only one meal a day, others relying on neighbours to share their food, some eating only wild food and wild roots.


To date we have distributed several thousands of bags of maize to remote communities and schools. We are continuing to raise funds to purchase bags of maize and distributing them daily to orphans, vulnerable children and the elderly, the first distribution took place during Easter weekend. We have spread our reach to Nyawa, Sekute and Mukuni Chiefdom. Further support is needed to reach other regisons – a bag of maize now costs just £9 and will feed a family of four for a month.


Zambia ranks third hungriest Nation
Numerous challenges burden the country, including high rates of malnutrition, poverty, food insecurity, HIV and AIDS and malaria. While Zambia has reduced the rate of extreme poverty in some areas, extreme poverty continues to be much higher in rural areas (57 percent) compared to urban areas (13 percent ). Zambia’s food security challenges are worsened by a high dependence on rain-fed agriculture. This is attributed to localized poor crop production due to poor weather conditions in some parts of the country.

The stable diet for Zambians is maize, which is heavily dependent on rain. The rainy season in Zambia runs between November and April, seeds are planted in November. Too much rain and the seeds rot, insufficient rain results in poor crops.

Children living in remote villages have to walk long distances to get to school, often without having eaten breakfast, for many hunger is normal. Poor diet and insufficient food effects their concentration and stamina. The Butterfly Tree provides a daily nutritional meal for vulnerable and orphaned children in Mukuni Village and initiates sustainable feeding programs in many other schools.  A balanced diet of n’shima (maize), beans, vegetables and kapenta (dried fish) will sustain the children, particularly those who live so far from the school.

Sixteen schools annually receive seeds and fertilizer to enable them to grow their own produce. Maize is dried and stored for the long ‘dry’ season, vegetables and beans are grown using the bore hole water we have provided for drinking and irrigation.

Sadly 2014-15 saw a poor rainy season and alarmingly 2015-16 is following in the same path. Areas drought and unseasonably high temperatures are being reported in the Southern Province. Last year most maize crops in the Southern Province perished as the crops are rain dependent. We have encouraged schools to grow sorghum, which is less rain dependent as well as more vegetables. Water from bore holes can be used to irrigate school gardens, especially when the river and streams run dry. Our aim is continue to raise funds to enable more schools to initiate sustainable feeding programmes.