News / Africa

WFP Seeks to Avert Zimbabwe Hunger

Village headman Kennedy Rusere in Buhera rural district, about 300 kilometers southeast of Harare.  The food situation in his village is desperate. (Photo: VOA / Sebastian Mhofu)
Village headman Kennedy Rusere in Buhera rural district, about 300 kilometers southeast of Harare. The food situation in his village is desperate. (Photo: VOA / Sebastian Mhofu)
HARARE – The United Nations’ World Food Program is appealing for $87 million to avert starvation in Zimbabwe’s rural areas where close to two million people need food aid.  The U.N. agency says because of poor rainfall, this year's hunger season in Zimbabwe has started earlier than in the past.

Kennedy Rusere is home alone with his wife in Buhera rural district, about 300 kilometers southeast of Harare.  He talks about the dismal food situation in the village he heads.

"We no longer prepare any food during the day; otherwise the hunger season would be longer," Rusere said. "Children go into the bush during the day and get some wild fruits and then drink water while waiting for a meal in the evening."

That about summarizes the hunger situation in Buhera rural area since March of this year. Children look emaciated.  The fields are dry.  

Buhera, part of Manicaland province, is one of the four regions the World Food Program says are worst affected by drought in Zimbabwe.  Others are Midlands, Matabeleland South and Masvingo.

Liliana Yovcheva of the WFP program office in Zimbabwe says her organization is facing an $87 million deficit as it tries to ease the food shortage.

"This year, the needs are much higher than in the last three years," she explained.  "This is about 60 percent more. We hear of people starting to sell their livestock at distress prices, reducing their number of meals in rural Zimbabwe, which is a clear indication that the food security situation is worsening.  It happens in other years but much more later in the year, sometime in November, December."

Junica Maradzika says she does not know her age but looks over 80 years old.  She, along with her 90-year-old husband, is looking after 14 grandchildren who were left by their late seven children.

“When our maize was at tussling level, rains disappeared and our crop dried up," she said.  "We had four cattle. We sold one and bought 250 kilograms of maize, but that could not cater for school fees [of my grandchildren.]”

Maradzika is now into pottery, from which she earns about $5 a week, if she is lucky.  At times no one buys her pottery.  She hopes food aid gets going so she and her grandchildren can avoid starvation.

Zimbabwe's government has indicated that it is looking for money to import maize.
 
The country was once the breadbasket of southern Africa, but food production fell sharply after President Robert Mugabe ordered the seizure of white-owned commercial farms beginning in 2000.

Some farms are productive under their new black owners but agriculture and the economy have yet to fully recover, forcing Zimbabwe to import much of the food it needs.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Agrippa
August 13, 2012 2:55 PM
Seizure of commercial farms accompanied by violence and forced removal of farmers and their labour, approved by
the Government, has ultimately led to the collapse of the agricultural economy - loss of employment. How this will be resolved it difficult to forsee. A humanitarian tragedy of immense proportions with far reaching consequences,never considered.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid