Nearly 50 000 in dire need of food aid in Gokwe

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By Staff Reporter

A devastating crop failure in the Midlands has left some 50 000 villagers in need of food aid, it has emerged.

According to the United Nations at least half of Zimbabwe’s 15 million population will need food assistance, until the next harvest after dry spell put paid to prospects of any grain this year.

Gokwe North district administrator Isaac Mutambara in an interview with New said some parts of Gokwe only received rains twice during the 2018/2019 cropping season.

He has called for an immediate government intervention to save the dire situation.

“Most of the crops are a complete right off. What could have been saved of the crops from the scorching heat is now being destroyed by pests,” Mutambara said.

He described the situation as a case of shattered hopes.

“No me meaningful harvest is to be expected which is a very unfortunate situation as this was the farmers’ only hope.

“As of yesterday (Thursday) 48 000 are vulnerable and are in urgent need of food aid,” he said.

“The Simchembo area that borders Gokwe North and Binga received rainfall only twice this season and is the most affected.”

Mutambara indicated that though there is an ongoing school feeding programme for children, the grain being received from government is inadequate.

“Villagers are sharing the little grain from social services. The situation is very bad. We however, have to thank God as there is a school feeding programme in schools.

“On average two villagers per every 35 households are recipients of grain and then they would share the 50kg of grain with the rest of the villagers,” he said.

The district administrator indicated that currently no non-governmental organisations is operating in the area.

“Currently there are no NGOs operating in the area. World Vision is promising to come on board. We used to get assistance from Caritas and World Vision,” he said.

Most of the villagers are now struggling to find water for domestic use and provide for their domestic animals after most of the rivers and boreholes dried up.

Villagers are now forced to walk an average 10 km to find water for domestic use.

In the past farming season Gokwe recorded a staggering amount of 31 million kilograms of cotton and the anticipation was the white gold producing region was on the rebound.