Red Cross welcomed

Villagers in the Marange district have welcomed the intervention of the Japanese Red Cross to alleviate the food crisis in the area.

The Japanese government has donated $1, 4 million through Red Cross Society to avert starvation in the diamond-rich community.

The area has been affected by a series of droughts and villagers have not been able to harvest their fields for consecutive farming seasons. Locals have been surviving from food aid from NGO’s. Despite efforts by Plan Zimbabwe to unveil inputs to the people of Marange, droughts have impacted their efforts to boost food security.

Zimbabwe Red Cross Society general secretary, Emma Kundishora, revealed that they had launced a programme to start food distribution immediately. She added that the food programme would be a joint venture between the International Federation of Red Cross, the Red Crescent Society and the Japanese government.

“The programme will also assist other affected people across the country. The assistance we are receiving from our international partners will go a long way towards alleviating hunger among suffering villagers,” said Kundishora.

A visit to the area by The Zimbabwean indicated that most villagers were relying on food aid from donor agencies.

“Our crops are now a write-off because of lack of sufficient rains. Although other areas have received much rainfall, our place has been hit by a series of droughts,” said Tatenda Munongedzo, a local villager.

Villagers said the government should use the proceeds from the diamonds fields to initiate irrigation schemes in their drought prone area.

“It’s a pity that we are sitting on diamonds, but we are the poorest people in the world,” said another villager.

According to a recent report by Food and Agriculture Organisation/World Food Programme, Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission an estimated 1, 7 million people in the country are food insecure.

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