Bindura Bureau Chief
Community leaders in Mashonaland Central’s Rushinga district are urgently appealing for food handouts from government and well-wishers, Nhau/Indaba has established.
So dire is the situation that some pupils in the district are reportedly unable to go to school due to hunger.
Rushinga is a drought prone; semi-arid area located in Zimbabwe’s ecological region five where production of maize and other crops is constrained by poor rainfall patterns.
Area legislator Tendai Nyabani told Nhau/Indaba last Friday that the entire district with nearly 90 000 households needed an urgent supply of food aid.
“This area lies in region five of the country’s ecological regions, characterised by little rains.
“We received very little rains last season and in the infancy of the season on top of that, a dry spell followed afterwards and affected the crop resulting in right offs in many areas.”
“It is my appeal to government that it avails food aid as early as possible,” said Nyabani.
Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Senator Monica Mavhunga said the situation in Rushinga was being addressed with urgency.
She said beginning this month, 183 tonnes of maize will be availed to the district until December, an allocation which will be increased next year.
“And from January, at the peak of the hunger season, the supply will be increased to 200 tonnes per month,” she said.
She warned village heads against distributing the food for financial gain or through nepotism.
“The food aid should be availed free of charge and no one should pay for anything.
“Village heads make sure that everyone in need of the aid is supported, no nepotism,” she said.
She further added that chiefs will be allocated inputs for the Zunde Ramambo projects this impending season.
One of the area’s traditional leaders, Chief Rusambo said school pupils were no longer going to school in some areas due to hunger.
“They can’t go on empty stomachs,” he said.
According to headmen Chimhanda (Trust Kaimba), plans to revive the Zunde Ramambo concept in his jurisdiction are underway starting this season.
“I have been encouraging all of my village heads to embrace the concept especially with the Pfumvudza inputs, following this disaster,” he said. Nhau/Indaba