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    Friday, 29 January 2016

    Drought kills 700 cattle in Mberengwa

    Elizabeth Mashiri
    Zvishavane Bureau

    Zvishavane – At least 700 cattle have died between November 2015 and January this year in Mberengwa District due to critical pasture and water shortages caused by the ravaging drought.
    The number of school dropouts has also increased as many families no longer have food. Other young children are turning to gold panning.
    Mberengwa assistant district administrator Charltone Murove confirmed this in an interview with The Mirror and said there was urgent need to intervene to save people and livestock from starvation.
    "About 700 cattle have died between November last year and January. The district needs urgent intervention. Farmers are in panic mode and are selling their beasts at ridiculously low prices," said Murove.  
    He said more than 70 percent of the people in the district were now critically affected by the drought and the remainder has food stocks to last just a few months.
    Irrigation schemes have stopped running because sources of water have run dry.
    Mberengwa has 37 wards and almost all irrigation schemes have stopped functioning.
    Murove said that the drought is also affecting school going ages and some have since stopped going to school as they have nothing to eat with some starting illegal mining at a very young age so as to bring food on the table.
    "Some young people have since stopped going to school because of this hunger. So far we are receiving government food relief but the relief is based on 2013 survey which indicated that 15.1 percent of Mberengwa population is in drought whereas this is no longer the situation.
    "So far our district food and security committee is also working tirelessly to get food for the community. We are also appealing to stock feeds companies to intervene," said Murove. agriculture

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