Bulilima chiefs raise food, water crisis alarm
BULILIMA District is in dire need of additional food aid and water following years of a crippling droughts.
A traditional leader in the district, Chief Masendu, told The Chronicle that Bulilima was one of the worst affected districts in Matabeleland South.
In an interview at the chiefs’ conference in Bulawayo last week, Chief Masendu said villagers have been harvesting virtually nothing in recent years due to recurrent droughts.
“The food aid from government is insufficient even for those few who are benefiting. All villagers were badly affected by drought and they do not have any other substitutes apart from the food aid, meaning that food doesn’t last many families even a week.
“Matabeleland South is a known dry region but this year’s drought is bound to cause more disaster if there’s no immediate intervention,” he said.
Chief Masendu said as a leader, he was seriously worried about the welfare of people and livestock and wished he could find a solution.
“Villagers are coming to literally cry at my home every morning and I must say I feel like a big failure as I cannot help them.
“We are appealing to government and well- wishers for assistance with more food aid allocations and if possible increasing the number of beneficiaries because many of them are in serious need,” he said.
The chief said apart from lack of food, there was a serious water shortage in the district.
He said villagers were sharing contaminated water sources with livestock.
“The amount of water that is left in our small dams will definitely not last people into the next month.
“Many dams, rivers and boreholes are drying up and certainly they won’t last up to the next month. The few functioning boreholes have become hopeless because people now go for an entire day waiting for their chance to fetch water,” the chief said.
A villager, Mrs Sakhile Ndubiwa, said the queues at boreholes were unbearable and the water table has gone down resulting in water coming out in drops.
“After every two containers are filled up, we wait for a long period before we can get more. Soon people and livestock will start dying.
“We lost a lot of cattle last year and we cannot bear to watch the same movie repeat itself. We are appealing for those who’re able to assist us with installations of piped water schemes to come forward because most of us may not survive until the next rains,” said Mrs Ndubiwa.— @winnie_marasa.