'Crying from hunger': Zimbabwe drought hits children

‘Crying from hunger’: Zimbabwe drought hits children

/ 03:52 PM June 05, 2024

'Crying from hunger': Zimbabwe drought hits children

Letwin Mhande (C) a thirty-six year old mother of four stands and awaits her turn to load an allocation of four buckets of water per family per day at a community run borehole in Epworth an informal settlement East of the Zimbabwe capital Harare, May 23 2024. At a farm on the outskirts of Harare, a queue of children, some as young as three, and a small group of elderly met and gather close to two large cooking pans. The makeshift feeding station was an idea of Samantha Muzoroki, and is the newest of five similar centers run by the immigration lawyer’s Kuchengetana Trust. It was started four months ago after parents at the Karibone Farm compound complained children were going to bed hungry as a result of crop failure in most parts of Zimbabwe. Agence France-Presse

HARARE — Mother of four Laiwa Musenza is already reliant on aid from a local NGO to feed her family and Zimbabwe’s drought is only getting deeper.

“Imagine hearing your children crying from hunger when you cannot do anything about it,” the 54-year-old said.

ADVERTISEMENT

At a farm on the outskirts of the capital Harare, a queue of children, some as young as three, and a small group of elderly gather near two large cooking pans.

FEATURED STORIES

READ:

A volunteer calls out names from a register and, plate in hand, the hungry take turns to step forward and receive small portions of macaroni and a soybean stew.

For most, it is their main, perhaps only, meal of the day.

The makeshift feeding station was the idea of Samantha Muzoroki and is the newest of five similar centers run by the immigration lawyer’s Kuchengetana Trust.

It was started four months ago after parents at the Karibone Farm compound complained children were going to bed hungry as a result of crop failure in most parts of Zimbabwe.

READ:

ADVERTISEMENT

Residents at Karibone earn a living from working part-time at neighboring farms, but this year the farms had no jobs to offer because of the drought.

Budget halved

“We could only manage one meal per day. For those of us with young children it was particularly tough,” Musenza told AFP.

Kuchengetana, which means “looking after each other”, provides two meals to an average of 1,500 children a day at its five kitchens.

But Muzoroki fears that her organization may be overwhelmed as the drought continues.

“Our movement is donor driven. We have had a huge dip in donations. We are receiving $400 every three months, down from $600 which is way below half of our budget,” Muzoroki said.

“We try to make sure that every day everyone we cater for is able to get at least a meal a day if we fail to give them two meals.

“The drought is definitely going to affect us in many ways and I hope and pray that it doesn’t lead us to closing any of our centers.”

Zimbabwe is only one of a band of countries in Southern Africa experiencing food shortages due to the drought, which has been exacerbated by the El Nino climate phenomenon.

Last month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a state of disaster, saying the country needed at least two billion dollars to respond to the drought.

At least 7.6 million people, almost half of the population, is in need of aid.

Skipping meals

The United Nations has appealed for $429.3 million to help people affected by the drought.

UNICEF also launched an urgent $84.9-million appeal last month “to provide lifesaving interventions… amidst a complex humanitarian crisis exacerbated by water and food shortages”.

“Zimbabwe has been experiencing drought conditions now for a few months with failing harvests in key areas of agricultural production,” UNICEF’s Nicholas Alipui said.

Additionally, it is “experiencing overlapping emergencies through a cholera outbreak and we also have a situation of polio in the country”, Alipui added.

In Epworth, a semi formal settlement east of the capital, families are skipping meals, while children are missing school as families struggle to find food.

“We are having two meals a day instead of three,” said Letwin Mhande, a 36-year-old mother of four, whose fruit and vegetable store is struggling to find stock and customers.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the and acknowledge that I have read the .

“We eat once at midday and once before going to bed, sometimes we don’t have food to give the children and they miss school.”

EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
www
usa
newsinfo
newsinfo
opinion
newsinfo
ENTERTAINMENT
NEWSINFO
NEWSINFO
SPORTS
NEWS
NEWSINFO
TAGS: Hunger, Zimbabwe

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more,