Hunger ravages Manicaland

Source: Hunger ravages Manicaland | The Financial Gazette September 8, 2016

MUTARE — Nearly half of the people of Manicaland are fighting hunger following a poor 2015/16 agricultural season.
Manicaland has a population of about 1,8 million people.
Statistics released by Manicaland provincial administrator (PA), Fungai Mbetsa, indicate that a total of 729 100 people in the region are currently receiving food aid from government and World Vision International, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development and advocacy organisation.
On its own, World Vision is taking care of 60 000 households, which translates to about 300 000 people.
Government has 85 820 households on its food relief programme, which is about 429 100 people.
The assumption here is that each household has five family members.
Government is distributing 50 kilogrammes of grain to each household while World Vision is availing US$6 per each individual on a monthly basis, plus grain.
Monthly, government is distributing 4 291 tonnes.
Since the commencement of the programme, government has distributed 34 138 tonnes.
Buhera district has emerged as the hardest hit with 150 000 beneficiaries (30 000 households) under government assistance and an additional 133 000 individuals being assisted by World Vision.
Chipinge comes second with 81 210 individuals (16 242 households) supported by government plus another 100 000 benefiting from World Vision.
A total of 100 000 individuals are receiving aid in Chimanimani from both government and World Vision, while 51 280 are being assisted in Makoni.
A further 42 000 (8 400 households) and 37 110 (7 422 households) are receiving food aid in Mutare and Nyanga respectively.
Mutasa district has the lowest number of beneficiaries standing at 29 900 (5 980).
Mbetsa said the number of beneficiaries has been on the rise, with statistics putting the current figure at 85 820 households in all the seven districts of Manicaland.
“This figure is huge since we were using a ratio of five family members per each household. We also have an additional number of beneficiaries in Buhera, Chipinge and Chimanimani. Here, we have another list of beneficiaries being supported by World Vision. This is an additional list to that of those supported by government in the very same districts. In Buhera there are 133 000 individuals, 100 000 in Chipinge and slightly less in Chimanimani,” he said.
“Government is on top of the situation; it has secured enough grain to support the beneficiaries,” he added.
Legislators and lobby groups within the affected areas said the food situation was dire.
Chipinge South legislator, Enock Porusingazi, said his constituency was the hardest hit in the district.
“My constituency is the hardest hit. It’s under (natural ecological) region Five; we received very little rain. So if we are talking of drought, we are talking of Chipinge South. We had no harvests here and we rely on food handouts from a few partners working with government. Normally people are supposed to have three meals a day but now they are missing one. If we don’t see any other interventions from more partners, people will be going for days without a meal. This is the situation that we are heading towards.
“Water is also becoming a problem, our rivers are all dry and we are depending on boreholes.
“But the challenge is that the boreholes are also drying up.
“People can now only get water from them during the morning and night,” said Porusingazi.
A Chipinge-based lobby group — Platform for Youth Development (PYD) — said livestock have not been spared from the drought.
“The food situation is dire and pathetic in Chipinge.
“Already we have cases of families even failing to have one meal a day which has become the trend. Only in the highlands of Chipinge East and Central families still have a bit of food, but the distribution is being politicised,” said PYD founder and director, Claris Madhuku.
The Member of Parliament for Musikavanhu constituency, Prosper Mutseyami, said food distribution for the vulnerable members of the community should be prioritised.


  • comment-avatar
    Tokoloshe 6 years ago

    The Tokoloshe wants to know why Professor Scoones and his great friend Robert Mugabe are not countering this propaganda about their wonderful land reform programme?

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 6 years ago

    See my comments to “bigwigs fall sick”

  • comment-avatar

    Stay hungry – but is all they know after at least the last 16 years. Born into hunger – grow up in hunger – live in hunger – what;s new – who knows the difference between feast and famine?