Lack of food, and especially of nutritious staples, is mentioned by virtually every narrator. Those with access to a dam or other water supply talk of being able to maintain a vegetable garden, but food supplies for those without are much more precarious.
People’s health has been undermined by their poor diets, and for those coping with HIV and AIDS the inadequate food supply is even more serious.
Ruth is among several narrators who say some people only eat once a day. She adds: “We find it difficult to convince the women [to cooperate in clubs] because their excuses are quite genuine. They need to feed their families.”
Benson explains why his community’s enthusiasm to improve their facilities faltered: “nothing can be done on an empty stomach.”
Warren has no job and sells small amounts of sour milk and mealie meal every morning; if he didn’t do this, “definitely that day we could go without food”.
Mirriam, and the five grandchildren she cares for, survive mostly on “wild vegetables and roots”.