Lupane villagers appeal for food aid

LUPANE - Villagers here said they were facing mass starvation unless they received urgent food aid from the government.

Food shortages have been a constant feature in Zimbabwe over the past decade with reports from international aid agencies suggesting that most households have already exhausted their food supplies.

Villagers complained bitterly that government was not helping them in any way although it has been notified of the intensifying hunger situation in the district.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for donations to help fight hunger in Zimbabwe, as economic stagnation, years of food scarcity, HIV-Aids and poor weather have combined to put it in a category of its own in a region where most nations are poor.

“We do not have food,” Sinikiwe Sibanda, a villager from Lupane Central told the Daily News. “People do not have money because most of them do not work. Our livestock have since died because grazing lands are not doing so well and some are preparing arable patches with their bare hands because we do not have tools and the promising rains have since stopped.

“It is hard to survive here in Lupane. We sometimes go to bed on empty stomachs. Our children suffer the most and our youths have since left for the neighbouring South Africa.”

Elizabeth Ncube, another villager, said: “We were expecting food aid from the government but nothing came. People complain that the food they receive from other humanitarian organisations is not enough to sustain them.

“We were told we would be given some food by the government but we did not get anything.

“Since there is shortage of rain and most of our land is dry and barren we cannot produce food. Government is also not helping us like what they do in other provinces which is making life in Lupane unbearable,” Ncube said.

Maria Mliswa said she wakes up on an empty stomach almost everyday at her homestead in Central Lupane hoping and praying for aid.

Narrating her daily activity, she said the going was getting tough.

“Every morning I make my way to my dry and barren field to plough using my hands since I have no farming implements,” she said.

“I try to clear the field and plant maize seeds but the work is too hard for me.”

Hard as it is, however, Mliswa has to continually reassure herself that this time the crops will not fail owing to erratic rains. She is convinced of a better cropping season.

“This has become my daily set of activity because I am so driven by the desire to be self-reliant and provide something for my five children to eat as the aid we sometimes receive from some organisations is not enough,” she said.

Over the past few years, Lupane district, which is located approximately 175km from the City of Kings, has been hit by a severe food crisis.

The government has proposed plans to mitigate the humanitarian disaster but there is no activity on the ground.

President Robert Mugabe blames his country’s economic woes on Western sanctions, but his critics point to farm seizures he ordered in 2000.

Most of the best farms went to Mugabe loyalists instead of impoverished blacks, with some lying idle, devastating the economy’s agricultural base.

Comments (1)

Handiti makarovera bhora mugedhi? Naizvozvo muchadhla bhora mugedhe. WFP munoidiyi? Haisi yeverungu here? Kana muchiudzwa hamunzwi hameno kuti munofunga nekumashure here? Ichakumamisayi nzara vapfanhami.

Mutirowafanza - 16 December 2013

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