via Flood victims face starvation – DailyNews Live by Godfrey Mtimba 2 MARCH 2014
Thousands of Tokwe-Mukorsi flood victims who relocated to Chingwizi camp in Nuanetsi Ranch face starvation as government struggles to feed them.
According to statistics released by government’s Civil Protection Unit this week, the families require over 150 000 tonnes of grains, amid reports of shortages.
The situation has resulted in government roping in local companies and non-governmental organisations for donations and food assistance.
The food donated so far has however, has failed to meet demand, since some families are going for as many as four days without a single meal at the camp.
“We are starving here because the food coming from government particularly grains, mealie meal and rice are not adequate for us all, some are getting the assistance while others are not and we are starving,” said a villager who declined to be named.
According to the statistics in the hands of the Daily News on Sunday, government needs about 149 985 tonnes of rice and 1 803,42 tonnes mealie-meal.
Apart from the shortage of food staffs, some relocated families are sleeping out in the open, with an extra 19 626 tents required to shelter them.
Relocated villagers who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday said they also feared an outbreak of diseases due to lack of proper amenities.
“We are actually living in fear of a possible eruption of a disease outbreak. The camp is filthy and we are facing shortages of nearly everything, safe drinking water, food, shelter you name it, it is raining and we sleep in the open with our children exposed to the harsh weather. It’s a matter of time that another disaster starts if the authorities do not act,” said a villager who only identified herself as Mai Tangai.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti confirmed the deficit but assured villagers that government would provide sufficient amount of food for the next 12 months.
“We still require those amounts we released to feed the families for 12 months and right now we are distributing what we have so far managed to get and we believe that we will get enough for the people. We still have a deficit in mealie meal, rice and other food stuffs, and we appeal to those assisting us to continue with donations,” said Bhasikiti.
Government has so far received 18 458 tonnes of mealie-meal fwhile it got 0,15 tonnes of rice in its possession from the required 150 000 tonnes.
It is also facing a shortage of 1 780 blankets, 53 360 water tablets to treat drinking water, 888 785 tonnes of beans, 185,3 tonnes of kapenta and 69 915 litres of cooking oil, among other essentials.