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Dete villagers face starvation

Villagers from Dete in Matabeleland North are appealing for food assistance citing that the Covid-19 pandemic worsened their plight.

According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) 2021 report, the combination of climate-related shocks, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to negatively affect rural livelihoods, thereby potentially reducing the disposable income available to the household for food and nutrition security.

The report noted that the prevalence of food insecurity reduced from 56 percent last year to 27 percent this year.

The affected areas are said to be Mtuya, Bote, and Enkomboni.

Villagers who spoke to CITE, said is dire and most elderly people in the area cannot afford even a single meal.

Contacted for a comment, ward 18 Councilor in Dete, Stanley Torima said the situation became worse after the social welfare department withdrew its services.

Dete Ward 18 Councillor Stanley Torima

“The situation is very bad in Dete, people are starving there is no food, social welfare has withdrawn the exercise they have been doing of food handouts to the elderly, the most vulnerable and people living with disability,” said Cllr Torima.

He said previously, the community used to benefit from World Vision but the organization withdrew their services.

Hwange East Member of Parliament (MP) Wesley Tose Sansole also concurred that the hunger situation had worsened in Dete.  

“I can confirm that the Department of Social Welfare withdrew their services in the Constituency,” said Sansole.

Councillor Torima appealed to the government to intervene by providing the villagers with food parcels.

He said his ward is mostly made up of pensioners who are struggling to make ends meet.

“Dete usually depends on the tourism sector which used to employ most of the young people but the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation.”

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