Hunger Stalks Lupane Villagers

By Natasha Nare

LUPANE, December 17, 2015- Villagers in Lupane district of Matabeleland North province have
resorted to eating wild fruits for survival and have further borne the brunt
of a severe shortage of water as the debilitating effects of drought
continue to bite the district.
A recent visit to the district showed the situation was getting dire by the day.
Livestock in Lupane has become frail and bony while the recently
received rains which had brought hope to the villagers have stopped.
Speaking to Radio VOP last week, villagers said due to the low
rainfall experienced over the past few years they have not been able
to stock enough food and as a result they are starving
 “Last year the rain situation was the same as this year and we did
not harvest much, we were hoping that this year the rains would come
but it seems like God has forsaken us.
“We have no food, we only get food aid from World Vision when they
come but the food is not enough,” Nomusa Siwela said.
 “Some of us are now surviving on wild fruits, those with relatives in
Bulawayo and South Africa are a bit better but most of us are
starving,” Thomas Zithelo said.
Esther Moyo said government should intervene to aid Lupane district
“In this region, we are sustained by agriculture but over the past
years our crops did not do well as a result we have no food.
“The land is dry and even if we are to plant there is no rain.
Government should help us with food aid as we might die of hunger,”
she said.
Lupane Chief Vusumuzi Mabhikwa Khumalo confirmed that the region is in
need of food aid as there is a massive wave of hunger.
“There is hunger in Lupane, which is as a result of climate change,
people are now surviving on wild fruit.
 “There has not been enough rain over the past few years and this has
posed a huge challenge on us as villagers, we are starving.
“The drought has also affected our livestock pastures and our animals
are now frail and some have died,” he said.
Khumalo said water is now a challenge to the region as most water
sources have dried up.
“Last year the rains were less as a result of we got a less harvest,
this year the rains have delayed brushing all hopes of a better
harvest.
“Since most water sources have dried up, people have to travel long
distances to go and collect water and this is very bad,” he said.
Khumalo pleaded for food aid saying his subjects are in dire need of assistance.
“We have had a few donors pitching in but their aid has been on a
lesser scale, we are therefore pleading for food aid from responsible
sources,” he said.
In September Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri-
Kashiri predicted that Zimbabwe would be hit by another drought next
year as below normal rainfall is expected.
Rains, according to the Meteorological Services Department, were
expected to start falling in most parts of the country at the
beginning of this week.
However, Zimbabwe’s southern region of the country usually records low
rainfall, sparking off loud calls from villagers and government for
relief support from the Non-Governmental Organisations agencies.