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Drought Devastates Zimbabwe's Mashonaland West Region

At the moment, WFP’s Seasonal Targeted Assistance programme is reaching over 1.4 million vulnerable people around the country.

The food situation is dire in Mashonaland West province where villagers are now surviving on eating mangoes.

Most crops in the region are a complete write-off, a situation that has forced villagers to survive on eating mangoes.

Villagers claim that food aid is allegedly being looted by some local politicians. Accused councilors were not available for comment.

An angry Zanu PF member in Lions Den, Mrs. Angeline Muchenje, is now a bitter woman.

“Here in Murereka there is a lot of looting of food relief by members of our party, councilor is the most corrupt and his chairpersons. They distribute maize in the middle of the night.”

A community worker, Gift Kamanga, also claimed that food aid is being diverted by politicians for their own benefit.

Kamanga said communities should organize themselves and choose representatives to distribute food aid.

“I think they should bring everything to the community so that the community can choose their representative who can represent them so that they can collect food handouts on their behalf.”

But others like Mrs. Mavis Tsomonda said food relief is distributed to
all people regardless of their political affiliation. Dejected Shackleton villager Mrs. Roseline Mpariwa, said her family is now entirely dependent on catching fish.

“We are just surviving bit by bit but it is difficult we live one day at a time from fishing we can’t afford to send all of our two children to school.”

Ben Rabbi of Shackleton said the food situation is seriously affecting vulnerable groups.

He said most villagers are surviving on mangoes, which they are hired to pick at local schools.

“Like this time some villagers are surviving on eating mangoes, parents and their children would work in exchange of the fruit.”

The situation has been worsened by lack of rains. Mashonaland West agronomist Siena Makaza said the crop situation in the province is not pleasing.

Makaza said currently the province is gripped by a dry spell and 75 percent of the crop planted this season is wilting.

Most villagers said although food is available in local shops they cannot afford to buy it due to lack of money.

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