It is evident wherever I look, there are signs of this drought we are in. A barren land is heartbreaking to see.
At home, I only need look out my window and see the dry grass that was once lush lawn and a shrub that has not survived.
Also, a scan around the yard and over the house reveals a never-ending layer of dust. No sooner is it swept or cleaned off surfaces, than it returns.
We do our best to minimise our water use and recycle water wherever possible.
Water restrictions were imposed two months ago – long after they were expected.
A drive outside of the city limits of my hometown of Dubbo and it is even more evident.
Where we have dry grass speckled with green tufts in our backyard, beyond the city boundary, it is mostly barren land.
As far as you can see, the soil is void of moisture. Natural grasses are dry and sparse. Dead trees are increasing in number.
On a recent trip to Armidale, NSW, the vastness of the drought was apparent.
Water restrictions within the city is nothing compared to what people on the land and smaller regional centres are dealing with.
Dams are bone dry, as too are creeks and rivers. Water is such a scarce yet essential and valued resource.
I pondered if there is anything I, as an individual, can do to help.
Along our journey we made purchases at small businesses. How though, can we reach the farming families and, the children living in the barren land of rural properties and towns?
So far, no firm solution but a couple of ideas have come to mind.
I would encourage, even implore, each of you, to take a drive to outlying areas and rural towns. Speak to people living on the land to hear their story and of the hardship they are enduring.
Buy from rural small businesses, donate non-perishable items, consider the children of the drought – they will need items for school, clothing, stationery and hygiene products.
Whatever we each can do, collectively, will make a difference. If you cannot physically donate items, even a couple of dollars to organisations or charities that are assisting families across the country, will be helpful.
People are suffering and struggling. Let us do a little something to ease that.
Image: Sue Nolan
The following organisations can provide advice and/or assistance for anyone affected by the drought.
Click on the organisation name for a link to open for further information.
One year ago, I also wrote about our famers and thoughts for what they are enduring. You can read it here: An Impromptu Outing Brings About Thoughts For Our Farmers, Growers and of Water