CHIEF Shana of Jambezi in Matabeleland North has urged the government to allow Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to bring food aid to communities saying the government does not have the capacity to do so alone.
This comes after villagers under his jurisdiction are on the verge of experiencing a serious drought this year as most of their crops have been affected by the poor rainfall.
Hwange West in Matabeleland North is one of the poorest districts in Zimbabwe and of late, it has been experiencing frequent droughts due to climate change.
“The effects of drought will be huge this year and most of the crops in Matabeleland North province are wilting due to a prolonged dry spell that has affected the country in the past month. The rains resumed last week but not all the villages received it.
It is now too late for the rains because most crops are now a write-off, especially the maize crops. Small grains crops have managed to resist but only a few villagers have such crops.
Poverty will be of huge impact and we urge the government to allow NGOs to assist with food aid. The government alone can’t afford to feed all of those affected by the drought in this community,’’ said Chief Shana.
He added that World Vision visited his community recently to assess the situation and efforts have been made to help the area.
“World Vision visited the community last week to assess the situation on the ground and immediately started registering some vulnerable groups.
“We also advise the NGOs not to discriminate people when registering on the basis that one has children in the diaspora. Not all parents who have children outside the country are being looked after by those children. We have such cases in the area and the parents are starving,” he added.
Meanwhile, Matabeleland North provincial agronomist Zenzele Ndlovu said the maize crop was the worst affected.
“Most crops are now in the temporary wilting stage with the maize crops being the most affected,” she said.