Thousands of people in Chiredzi East are facing hunger, officials have said, with the drought-prone region still to receive rains.
BY Garikai Mafirakureva
Zanu PF MP for the area Denford Masiya said while it was normal for the district to receive rains late, farmers this time around were no longer certain of the agricultural season as very little rains had fallen.
“Although some of the areas such as Chief Sengwe area, which is along the South African border have received minimal rainfall, I can safely say 100% of people in Chiredzi East face starvation if urgent action is not taken. If rain fails to fall in the next one month, it will be a complete disaster for both people and cattle,” said Masiya.
Fikani Hlaysiseka, a farmer in Chilonga said there were no pastures any longer in the area because of the late onset of the rains.
“We are afraid of losing most of our cattle because of lack of pastures. Farming and cattle rearing are our only source of livelihood, but if the dry spell continues, we are doomed,” he said.
Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Lovemore Matuke last week toured the drought-stricken area on his way from Chambuta Refugee Camp where he donated goodies to orphans and vulnerable children.
Matuke pledged to look into the matter and ensure that government availed the much-needed food assistance soon.
“There is no doubt that the area is in dire need of food assistance. I will make it a point that it receives the much-needed aid on time. My ministry is going to give this area first preference. Even if the rains finally come, I have already noted with concern the situation here,” he said.