There are children in Queensland who have never seen rain.
Never. Not once. Can you even imagine?
They’ve never watched as a rainbow saturated the sky; they haven’t slipped into gumboots to splash about in muddy puddles.
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These kids live in the drought-stricken town of Dirranbandi, in south-west Queensland, and they have been waiting for rain for more than six years…
Until this week. The Today show broadcast from the region in an effort to bring attention to the drought, and a little rain dropped while they were in town.
“[It’s] not enough of course to end this crippling drought that’s been going on in this part of the world for nearly seven years,” clarified co-host Sylvia Jeffries.
“But a couple of people behind me said ‘I haven’t seen a rainbow for a long time’, and we have had this most beautiful rainbow.”
Living on the Gold Coast, a coastal strip of Australia that gets more than its fair share of downpours over the summer months, it’s hard to imagine a life without constant rain. Here, we live in fear of floods and storms – we grapple with the concept of too much rain, rather than the absence of it.
As a result, it’s easy to forget that the farmers just outside our community are doing it really tough.
National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simpson says the drought has become so bad in parts of Australia that some farmers are not going to have any income until January 2020.
It’s a staggering statistic – but there is something we can all do about it.
The no brainer tactic that everyone can do: buy Australian-made as often as possible at the grocery store. Even if you substitute just one bag of apples from imported to Australian-grown, you’ll be making a difference. Lynette Keneally, who runs an apple orchard and Christmas tree farm in Oakdale, NSW, told ten daily: “If you are buying Australian, you are supporting farming families in Australia and the money is going where it needs to be going”.
If you can afford to throw more money at the problem: as little as $20 buys a bale of hay to support farmers, or you can donate fuel cards, grocery boxes or care packages via Drought Angels. Every little bit helps – so lets do our bit to support our farmers as much as we can.
More than $1.3 million has since been donated to the 2018 Drought Relief Fun for Australian Farmers — run through Rotary and promoted by the Today show. A telethon will be held on August 20.