FOOD insecurity levels have escalated in Manicaland province as close to half of the population is under food relief while over 12,000 livestock have succumbed to the El Nino induced drought.
This was revealed by the provincial administrator Fungai Mbetsa on Monday. Mbetsa indicated that government and World Vision are supporting a total of 729,100 individuals in the seven districts of Manicaland, which has a total population of 1,8 million.
Mbetsa said this is up from 200,000 individuals that were being supported last year.
He further indicated that Buhera and Chipinge were the most affected districts.
“Government is currently supplying grain to the seven districts in Manicaland. World Vision is also supporting three districts, Buhera, Chipinge and Chimanimani. World Vision has a total of 300,000 individuals that it is feeding in the three district and these are different beneficiaries from those that are being assisted by government in the very same districts.
“In total government is supporting 85,820 households. We are using five families per each household which translate to 429,100 individuals. Last year government was supporting 42,000 households while World Vision was only supporting Buhera,” said Mbetsa.
This comes at a time when the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Zimvac) reported Manicaland as the hardest province with a high number of livestock that succumbed to the El Niño induced drought during the 2015/2016 agricultural season.
The Zimvac report released in August indicated that of the 25,000 cattle that succumbed to the harsh agricultural season, over 12,000 of the livestock were from Manicaland.
However, Mbetsa said government has secured enough grain to support vulnerable families until the next harvests. Radio vop