- Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe has declared a drought disaster has hit the rural part of the country.
- The drought has affected the agriculture sector
- Thousands of livestock dead with country open up for aid
- Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe has declared a state of disaster in rural parts of the country hit by a drought.
The president’s announcement comes days after the EU urged Mr. Mugabe to declare a state of disaster so donors can raise money quickly to provide food aid. The government has urged Zimbabweans not to panic, as it is importing maize from neighbouring Zambia.
The United Nations World Food Programme has said some 14 million people face hunger in southern Africa because of a drought that has been exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon. An estimated 2.4 million people are now in need of food aid, more than a quarter of the population.
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana are some of the countries badly hit by the drought.
The drought is due to the drop in rainfall since last year. This has led to the deaths of thousands of cattle whose grazing areas have become parched.
The BBC in Zimbabwe reports that trees are no longer green and there is little grass to be seen. There is no sign of water in the rivers below. In a few places, thin cows are searching for the little water that remains.
While there are no signs of dead cows along the road, in Lambo village. Most of the fields that should have been planted are bare. The crop that was planted is distressed and stunted. Wildlife has also not been spared.
In the Hwange National Park, the authorities have drilled boreholes to ensure a constant supply of drinking water for the animals.
"With rains failing almost completely this year, the situation is getting desperate. In certain parts of the country, we even see that people, farmers, are using the thatch of their roofs to feed their cattle," ," Jan Vossen, Zimbabwe director for the charity Oxfam, told the BBC.
The agricultural sector has been the worst affected, with tobacco and cotton farmers also bracing themselves for the disaster.