Villagers resettled in and around the Save Valley Conservancy are in urgent need of food aid after going for five years without proper harvests.
The villagers can, however, be saved by proceeds from the wildlife business in the conservancy although they profess ignorance that they could have such benefits.
The rainfall is too low for agricultural production and villagers resort to barter trade to get maize, sorghum, millet and vegetables. A villager can trade firewood for tomatoes that are re-sold to the communities.
Some of the villagers travel for up to 25 kilometres in search of water. In separate interviews recently, villagers in Chigwete and Ward 26 of Bikita District urged Government to intervene.
"The soils are very poor and the rains are not that favourable for agriculture. We are virtually starving," Mrs Juliet Sibanda from Chigwete Resettlement Scheme said.
She said while they received assistance from Government through programmes such as Food for Work, more aid was needed in the area.
"We have no boreholes in the area. People walk for three hours to get water from a tap on one of the farms. It's even more difficult for villagers that do not have cattle or donkeys or even scotchcarts," she said.
Mrs Patience Meki from the same village said children were forced out of school early because of the high levels of poverty.
"The harvests have not been good for a long time. There is no agricultural production because of the poor rainfall. We sell firewood to areas such as Chibuwe and buy vegetables that we will re-sell to fellow villagers," she said.
Mr Gift Masasa said lions had also wreaked havoc in the area.
"The lions attack our cattle and donkeys but we want to work with the farmers in the conservancy so that we benefit from the animals," he said.
Ward chairman in Village 26 Mr Tangson Charuma said some farmers in the conservancy were not repairing their fences and the animals were escaping into villages. He said they expected some compensation if the animals destroyed their crops.
"We have written to the farmers in the conservancy to compensate us but nothing has been forthcoming. Some of the new farmers have neglected the fence around the conservancy," he said.
Mr Charuma said the area urgently needed a dam so that they go into irrigation.
"We have a small weir but it has dried up and we have abandoned some of the projects we started. Our problems have also been compounded by poor cotton prices, which are not sustainable," he said.