Malnutrition rate in Zimbabwe is currently on the increase. The country is apparently going through an intense hunger strike that has left 4 million people in need of food aid.
The Southern African country has endured two years of failed rains, with this year’s problems linked to the El Nino weather pattern.
Following this intense malnutrition rate, the UN has warned that hunger rate may lead to something else if nothing is done.
Unicef’s Zimbabwe representative Jane Muita said that nearly 33,000 children are currently suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and they are in urgent need of treatment.
“We have not seen these levels of malnutrition in more than 15 years, more needs to be done to prevent this crisis from spiralling out of control,” Muita added.
Also, a report culled from a Zimbabwean local daily – The Zimbabwean – reveals that some school children in Chiadzwa have stopped going to school while others do collapse while in classroom due to prolonged hunger.
Speaking in an interview with The Zimbabwean yesterday, the School Development Committee chairperson for Betera Primary School Lovemore Mukwada said malnutrition rate in schools is very alarming and disheartening.
“In most of the primary schools, children have dropped out of school as a result of hunger. We have cases where some children are fainting during lessons as they would have spent days without having food. We had a recent case at Betera Primary School where we had a pupil who fainted as a result of hunger,” Mukwada explained.
Mukawda further elaborated that the problem is that school children rise by 6am and leave by 4pm. This simply means that they spend whole day at school without eating anything.
He added that parents on the other hand have continued to struggle for food at home, thereby neglecting the little ones at school.
He lamented that the situation got worsened when the distribution of government food got politicized. In that, presumed MDC-T supporters do not receive anything from the distributors.
“It is a big challenge because the headmen who are responsible for distributing the food aid end up politicizing the programme.
The headmen will give the food to those that are aligned to Zanu PF and the process becomes a very big problem to those that are perceived to be MDC-T supporters,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, acting Mutare District Administrator Simon SigaukeIn enjoined government to come to the aid of Chiadzwa’s residents.
“Yes I know that the situation has become dire. We appreciate that the diamond mining companies used to supply the food to the schools, but, now we should now focus on how we should solve this matter,” Sigaukeln implored.
Obviously, lack of rains have resulted in losses of crops making this year’s harvest which typically takes place in March and April almost impossible.
Zimbabwean president had declared drought a national disaster and requested for assistance from global communities.