El Nino Induced Drought Erodes Masvingo Farmers’ Hope

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Erratic rains experienced in Masvingo province due to induced El Nino heat wave has left many in need of food aid while livestock is in danger of both water and grazing land shortages.

By Tapera Gwezhira

Farmers who spoke to 263Chat appealed to government of Zimbabwe to urgently attend to their call for food aid as many of them cannot cope with the situation worsened by exhorbitant prices demanded by retailers for a bag of mealie-meal.

Kudakwashe Nharikwa of Mwenezi district said his family no-longer afford having three meals a day as they used to do.

“It’s now the survival of the fittest, I don’t remember the day my family lastly used cooking oil. We no-longer have a balanced meal because we don’t have money to buy mealie-meal or maize. Its high time that our leaders assist us with food,” said Nharikwa.

Tinashe Shumba of Chivi district said he is more worried about his livestock since there are no more grazing lands in their area.

“Our cattle and goats are now relying more on leaves, there is no grass at the grazing lands. The stock feeds which were reserved after last year’s poor harvests are finished,” Shumba said.

Several families in districts like Mwenezi, Chivi and Zaka are already in need of food aid.

Government through the Social Welfare department is distributing food to the elderly in some districts but the prevailing situation may force them to extend to everyone in the affected areas.

Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Ezra Chadzamira said government will ensure that no one dies in hunger in the region.

He said the food must be distributed equally without considering one’s political affiliation.

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