Hungry villagers survive on smuggled goods

Madabe and Dukwe ward 3 villagers in Mangwe, Plumtree queue to receive food aid from USAid funded World Food Programme distribution exercise

MADABE village head Joseph Nleya has said scores of villagers in Mangwe district now survive on food supplies smuggled from Botswana and South Africa as the food crisis has worsened in the area.

In an interview on the sidelines of the United States Agency for International Development funded World Food Programme (WFP) food distribution programme last week, Nleya said people’s lives are in danger in his area due to acute food shortage.

“Food insecurity has reached alarming levels; there is nothing at all to be harvested from the fields. Since we have no prospects of harvest we are already surviving mostly on smuggled food from Botswana, many families are now relying on that,” Nleya said.

"Our livestock such as cattle are depreciating in value. We used to sell cattle at R9 000, but they are now going for R4 000.Villagers sell their livestock to buy food. We have no pastures for livestock due to poor rains this time, it is terrible."

The traditional leader said the villagers are also battling a water crisis as water sources in the area are already drying up.

 Mangwe District Agritex officer Moffart Ncube also said the crop situation in the district is bad and that there is no hope for a better harvest.

“The maize crop is a total write-off; there is no hope for a harvest,” Ncube said.

“Sorghum and other traditional grains are 70% moisture stressed and the remaining 30% is a total write-off. If we get rains now the remaining crops which are moisture stressed may survive.”

 Meanwhile, villagers from Madabe and Dukwe last week benefitted from food donated by the WFP meant to cushion them in the lean season.

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