Zimbabwe: Villagers in Drought Hit Silobela Starve As Lockdown Intensifies

Villagers in drought-ravaged Silobela are feeling the pinch during the current government-imposed national lockdown period in efforts to tame COVID-19.

Barely a week into the lockdown, the effects have now taken a toll on villagers who mostly rely on food aid.

According to the area legislator, Mthokozisa Manoki Mpofu, aid is yet to find its way to his drought-torn rural area.

"Red Cross failed to distribute food aid last month due to challenges which were not made known to us and they said they will resume food aid distribution during the second week of April.

"This has had devastating effects on vulnerable households which cannot afford to buy maize meal or grain," the legislator said, adding, "hunger is serious and a reality in all wards."

The lockdown, Manoki said, has worsened the situation in the drought ravaged rural area.

"Food Insecurity in the area is very real as people have been relying on buying maize grain from sellers coming from Gokwe at USD $5 or RTGS$170.

"Now because of the lockdown, there is no maize grain being sold and households are entirely starving."

To complicate matters, because of restrictions in business operational hours, most people are failing to secure basic commodities due to long distances they have to travel to Crossroads. By the time they reach the centre, the shops would be closed already.

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