HARARE FEBRUARY 5, 2016 (CISA) – President Robert Mugabe has declared a state of disaster in several areas of the country hit by drought.
According to the Minister of Local Government, Saviour Kasukuwere the El Nino-induced drought has severely affected some areas across the country.
According to a statement from the Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira on February 4, about 2.5 million of Zimbabwe’s 12 million people currently need emergency food assistance. “Crops have been affected across 95 percent of the country and more than 16,000 cattle have died,” Kasukuwere said.
“With rains failing almost completely, the situation is getting desperate. In certain parts of the country, we even see that, farmers are using the thatch of their roofs to feed their cattle,” Zimbabwe director for Oxfam, Jan Vossen said.
World Food Program Country Representative Eddie Rowe warned that those requiring food assistance could double in the next few months.
“We’re approaching an unprecedented food insecurity situation, not just in Zimbabwe, but in the southern African region,” he added.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told law makers in the capital Harare on Thursday that the government had earmarked $200 million for food imports. Similarly, he said Zimbabwe had signed agreements to buy at least 100,000 metric tons of corn from neighbouring Zambia.
On the same note, Water Minister Oppah Muchinguri, said on January 2015 that Zimbabwe’s major dams were about half full and supplies may not last through the start of the rainy season in October.
“These are the chilling effects of the climate phenomenon which has not only affected Zimbabwe, but the whole SADC region,” she said, referring to southern Africa.
“This address is a clarion call for all of us to be highly responsible and adopt measures that will ensure that we go through the drought period together.” The drought has also affected regional corn producers South Africa, Malawi and Zambia.