Mberengwa – More than 15 000 families in drought prone Mberengwa district face starvation after World Food Program (WFP) pulled out after the end of its food aid program earlier this month.
Under the drought relief program WFP through its implementing partner LID Agency was assisting 93 000 food insecure individuals in the district with monthly food hampers.
Government through the Department of Social Welfare is assisting 19 000 families in the district.
Mberengwa District Development Coordinator (DDC) Ndeya Nyede said food aid distributions by WFP ended earlier this month after the period given to the organization by government lapsed.
He said through the district drought relief committee an appeal has been made to government for the extension of the period since thousands of livelihoods are now strained with no means to replenish.
“WFP through a non-governmental organization called LID Agency pulled out of Mberengwa district at the beginning of this month after their given period lapsed. They used to assist 93 000 people which is more than 15 000 families. With open markets where communities used to trade, livelihoods are now strained during this lockdown period with no means to replenish.
“An appeal has been made to government through the district drought relief committee to consider the district for extension as is happening in other districts deemed severely hit by drought. Mberengwa is drought prone with low water table which limits livelihood options. Gardens and small irrigations could have helped but the district is semi arid” said Nyede.
Ndeya said the Social Welfare Department is catering for only 19 000 families leaving out more than 20 000 other food insecure families and there is need to urgently bridge the gap left by WFP.#MasvingoMirror#