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Millions go hungry as Zimbabwe faces the worst drought in decades

The impact of low rain and low crop yields following two years of drought is painfully visible in Matabeleland and other dry lands.

GENEVA—  Zimbabwe is currently facing a huge drought and the President of Zimbabwe has declared this as “state of disaster”. It has faced many regional drought before but this year in 2016, it got worsened by the El nino weather phenomenon. This weather phenomenon has also affected countries like South Africa, Malawi and Zambia causing death of thousands cattle, depletion of reservoirs and spoiling.

U.N. has confirmed that more 3 million people are going hungry due to this drought. The impact of low rain and low crop yields following two years of drought is painfully visible in Matabeleland and other dry lands said Bishow Parajuli U.N. Resident Coordinator of Zimbabwe.

“I recently visited that area with a number of donors and ambassadors; we could really see the desperation and severity of the situation.” said Parajuli.

A man touches dried land which used to be a water source. Image source : voa.com
A man touches dried land which used to be a water source. Image source : voa.com

It is being considered as the worst regional drought in whole decade and some say it is likely to get even.

The United Nations have appealed for $360 million so that assistance can be provided to more than 3 million people. The assistance will include all the important needs like food, water, health, nutrition, sanitation and protection.

$70 million has already been received and only $290 million is left says Parajuli. He urges donors to respond to this appeal and be generous.

“Given Zimbabwe is a landlocked country and also the whole southern Africa region is affected by El Nino, and lack of surplus of maize, it is very critical to plan in advance in terms of importation and supply chain delivery ,” said Parajuli. ” So, earlier response will really help save lives and suffering among the population.”

Parajuli says he is particularly worried about the so-called lean season between September and March.  This is the period between harvests when farmers’ food stocks are at their lowest.

He says people will be severely affected by the lack of food, and many will not be able to count on their cattle as a lifeline as tens of thousands have died from lack of water and grazing land. (VOA)

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