The Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa has appealed for cash from development agencies and the private sector to ensure that the vulnerable are not exposed to hunger and starvation, NaijaAgroNet reports.
Nontheless, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Famine Early Warning System Network cautioned that, “the lean season humanitarian assistance is expected to be lower than average due to a challenging funding situation,” while the World Food Programme (WFP) said it will start distributing food at the end of September to recipients who will work on projects including building small dams, repairing roads and starting vegetable gardens.
IolNews quotes WFP information officer, Tinashe Mubaira as saying, “Because of the poor harvest this year, food security levels are deteriorating earlier during the lean season than usual. Consumption coping strategies at the moment are reduction of portion sizes and eating fewer meals. Communities in districts bordering neighbouring countries are crossing over to Mozambique and Zambia for casual labour.”
Recently, villagers in Zimbabwe began to skip meals and foraging for wild fruit as food stocks run out after a poor harvest blamed on drought and controversial land reforms.
A resident ofMusana district northwest of the capital Harare, and a mother of four, RabianChidamba, lamented that nowadays, even if the children complained of hunger, nothing could be done. She went on to say that when the children get hungry between meals they go and look for wild fruit.
“Our harvest came to 10 bags of maize instead of the 30 bags we usually get,” Chidamba decried, saying that normally, she could sell the surplus corn to raise money for her children's school fees among other necessities, but this year's harvest is not enough even to feed her own family.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that Zimbabwe was once a major producer of corn, and became a perennial importer of food in the wake of a fallin agricultural production blamed on President Robert Mugabe's land reforms, which saw the seizure of land from white commercial farmers for redistribution to landless blacks.
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