El Nino drought leaves Ntalale villagers hungry and desperate

Villagers from Ward 11, in Gwanda, Matabeleland South are sounding the alarm over the impacts of the ongoing El Nino drought, which is taking a toll on both humans and livestock. 

Reports indicated that some children are attending school on empty stomachs due to prevailing conditions. 

Zimbabwe finds itself among the nations affected by the El Nino which is a phenomenon marked by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Pacific, disrupting regular rainfall patterns and leading to prolonged dry spells. 

The United Nations World Food Program has stated its collaboration with government and aid agencies to provide food to 2.7 million rural people, as Southern Africa grapples with a drought crisis exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern. 

Speaking to CITE, a villager from Nyambi village, Bona Sebatha said their water sources, including dams and boreholes, are drying up. 

Mamsisi village head, Fank Moyo highlighted the stark reality of failed harvests. 

“We barely received any rain, and our crops withered away. We are now staring at hunger,” he said. 

Moyo said livestock, especially cattle, are facing grim conditions, resorting to eating soil due to the absence of grazing pastures. 

“The livestock are also not eating soil, and there is no grass,  in  a good year, around this time there will be grazing pastures but this time around there is nothing, we will close our  kraals as we will lose our livestock,” he said  

Meanwhile, Elfina Nyathi from Ntalela appealed for social welfare to assist villagers. 

“We are facing a difficult situation of hunger and heatwave; we had cultivated our fields but we didn’t reap anything, everything got burnt.” 

“The cows have also started grazing in the fields so there is nothing now, we are facing a tight situation for both humans and livestock, we don’t know what will happen but we hope we will get assistance from the Social Welfare, this year everyone is the same both those who had ploughed and those who did not plough their fields,” she said. 

Nyathi appealed for the Social Welfare and Non-Governmental Organisations to assist the vulnerable people in the community such as people with disabilities and orphans. 

In addition, Angelina Ndlovu from Mamsisi village expressed concern that children are collapsing in school due to hunger, underscoring the urgency for assistance from social welfare agencies. 

 “Our biggest grievance is hunger, we did not reap anything this year and children have started going to school without eating anything, some teachers have started complaining about children who are fainting due to hunger, there is nothing we can feed them,” she said. 

Ndlovu said, “The social welfare once gave us grain and we thought the situation will be better but they have since gone silent, there is nothing in the fields not even a melon, we don’t know what to cook for our children, we are appealing for them to assist us.” 

Another villager from Kanana village, Tryfina Sibanda lamented the soaring prices of essential food items like mealie meal, urging donors to step in and alleviate the hunger crisis in rural areas. 

 “In ward 11 we are now facing a challenge, mealie meal is expensive, most people here are unemployed so we are appealing for a donor to assist us. There is hunger in rural areas, most villagers have started to go for days without eating Isitshwala,” said Sibanda. 

Ward 11 councillor, Wilson Sebata appealed to the Government to provide affordable stock feed to rural communities. 

“We are facing a great drought, we are appealing to the government to assist us with even a stock feed so that we can purchase it at an affordable price to assist villagers.” 

Sebata also urged the Social Welfare department to expedite food distribution, ensuring equitable allocation to all households. 

“We also appeal to the Social Welfare to quickly act and assist villagers. We also wish that when they are distributing food every homestead should benefit, unlike the current situation where some homesteads receive two buckets when the other homestead didn’t receive anything,” he said. 

The councillor also advocated for sustainable projects to empower people to grow and generate their food for consumption in their villages and not entirely depend on donations. 

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One Comment

  1. 25th March March 2024

    This article and other enviornmental articles are not appearing on your facebook page save for more than 4 adverts advertising of your site wasting space?? this space could be taken up for articles and one advert to advise with you?

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