Councillors in Gutu are appealing to central government to start the distributing food aid in the district saying thousands of people are faced with acute food shortages and need assistance as a matter of urgency.
Ward 19 councillor, Cleophas Muzindi, told TellZim News in an interview last week that more than 1 000 households in his ward were faced with starvation and urged government to intervene by cutting all bureaucratic red tape and provide food to the people.
“We received erratic rains this season and the crops have since wilted. People are starving and over 1 000 households in my ward are in dire need of food. It is not fiction when we say people are starving, it’s happening, and I want to appeal to government to distribute the food as soon as possible if we are to avoid losing lives,” said Muzindi.
The few crops which had germinated in many areas had all withered due to moisture stress.
Cllr Muzindi said he has since forwarded the names of the families that need urgent assistance to the office of the district administrator.
Newly elected Mpandawana Town Board Chairman and Ward 37 councillor, Gabriel Mapepa, also added his voice saying close to 1050 households in his ward had registered for food aid from the government.
A few farmers in the Eastdale farming area, parts of Serima and some parts in the newly resettled areas near Chatsworth which boast of wetlands have not got any meaningful harvests this year. The majority of the subsistence farmers in the district are reeling from the effects of the prolonged dry spell caused by the El Nino phenomenon which has seen most parts of Southern Africa suffering from drought.
Both Gutu Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Mutembwa and the District Administrator, Roy Hove, were not available for comment when TellZim News visited their offices and could not be contacted before going to print.