A severe food shortage is reportedly stalking villagers in Gwanda and Beitbridge with most of them now entirely dependent on free food handouts from non-governmental organisations.
Beitbridge town secretary Sipho Singo told Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during a tour last week the situation deserved urgent government intervention.
“Beitbridge district is in dire need of food as most households are going without food and most cattle are dying due to lack of water,” he said.
“The other challenge we have is that Beitbridge is used by most people as a springboard to South Africa, hence these people also feed on our limited resources.”
Tsvangirai visited several districts in Matabeleland South to familiarise himself with various developmental projects in the province.
He also toured Gwanda where an administration officer in the district, Sikhangezile Mafu, said people were now relying on irrigation schemes to survive.
“Gwanda is one of the areas that has been hit by drought due to inconsistent rains,” she said.
“We are relying more on irrigation schemes and food handouts by non-governmental organisations whose food is not enough.”
Tsvangirai later addressed a rally at Dingumuzi Stadium in Plumtree where he assured villagers government had enough food reserves and that no one would die of hunger this year.
“I am aware that the issue of food security is a priority in Matabeleland South, with the most affected being Beitbridge and Gwanda,” he said.
“However, I would like to assure everyone that no one will die of hunger this year as the country has enough supplies.”
The PM said he would do everything in his power to make sure food is distributed to all districts.