HARARE - First Lady Grace Mugabe yesterday allocated emergency aid to save lives and bring help to people in Chivi District hardest hit by a devastating drought.
The first lady, an established philanthropist who runs an orphanage in Mazowe, provided food aid, including maize meal, sanitary ware and other emergency aid to more than 6 000 villagers affected by drought in the famine-torn district.
This comes after Chivi Rural District Council (RDC) chairman Killer Zivhu urged international donors last weekend to offer aid promptly for relief operations to support villagers critically short of food in an area where one of the worst droughts in decades has left children malnourished, killed livestock and damaged livelihoods.
The first lady handed over 1 000-10kg bags of maize meal, children’s clothing, including uniforms, track suits, jerseys, shoes, groceries and sanitary ware.
The donation was handed to Zivhu at State House yesterday and will be handed over to villagers today.
The Zanu PF women’s league boss said the aid was meant to ensure families who have lost everything, including their crop are not food insecure until the next harvest.
The drought is as severe in some areas as the one in 1992, when failed rains caused a famine that hit thousands of people.
The first lady said she was touched by the plight of Chivi villagers.
Zivhu said they were humbled by the first lady’s relief operation for villagers deemed chronically food insecure.
“We are honoured by the gesture of the first lady; she has a good heart towards suffering people,” Zivhu said.
“She is a role model who gives to the poor. She takes care of women and children. We should really emulate the first lady.”
This comes after Zivhu, in response to the food shortages, launched a campaign dubbed “Save a Family By a Dollar” last weekend.
Only 11 000 households managed to get food aid from government as well as donor agencies, out of
27 000 who are facing starvation.
Speaking on the sidelines of a launch of a fund by Chivi RDC to mobilise money to buy food aid for the families on Saturday at Shindi Secondary, Chivi District Administrator Bernard Hadzirabwi said the drought has devastated crops and livestock in the arid area.
“...we are appealing to people from Chivi around the world to donate a dollar to the RDC’s EcoCash fund for this purpose,” Zivhu said.
“That dollar will make someone have a meal on their table and bring smiles to the needy families from this area. We intend to raise $1 million.”
He said well-wishers can send the money on Chivi RDC EcoCash merchant code 73714 and biller code 73665.
Zivhu last weekend handed 1 000 families a 10kg bag of maize meal each.