Zimbabwe is facing it’s most devastating drought in four decades after recording the lowest rains in the same period, regional hunger watchdog the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has reported.
The extreme weather pattern will according to officials leave at least 5 million people facing starvation, in Africa’s former bread-basket.
In its latest food and security outlook for February to September 2019, FEWS NET said most poor households will harvest grain enough to cover three months’ food supplies.
The worst hit provinces according to the report are drought prone Matabeleland North and South, Masvingo, Midlands and parts of Manicaland.
According to the famine watchdog, the only areas in Zimbabwe to receive normal rains included parts of Mashonaland provinces and northern Midlands. It predicted prices of grain and the staple food maize meal will increase due to this year’s poor harvests.It noted that besides the poor rains, economic hardships in Zimbabwe are expected to continue.
According to the United Nations, a total of 5.3 million Zimbabweans will need food aid and it has started raising funds to bridge the deficit and avert a massive humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has for almost two decades now been struggling with hunger but last year government announced a surplus under a military assisted program known as Command Agriculture.