President declares drought a national state of disaster

03 Apr, 2024 - 11:04 0 Views
President declares drought a national state of disaster President Mnangagwa

The Sunday News

Rutendo Nyeve. Sunday News Reporter

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has declared a national state of disaster due to the El Nino induced drought.

The President made the declaration on Wednesday morning during a state of the nation address at State House.

Speaking during the address, President Mnangagwa said the current agricultural season of 2023/24 has not performed according to expectations due to the El Nino induced drought and as a result, more than 80 percent of the country received below normal rainfall.

“The country had put a total of 1 728 897 hectares under maize crops and other cereals. Ordinary this could have guaranteed a mouthful harvest in our country. Further worsening the season characterised by poor rainfall was the outbreak of four army worms across the country.

“The Zimbabwe livelihoods assessment committee report for 2023 revealed that approximately 2.7 million people were expected to be food insecure from April until the end of March 2024.  While we have been able to far to fend for this food insecure population, the El Nino drought has now compounded our current situation with food insecurity levels going beyond the projected 2.7 million people,” said the President.

“Following our agricultural and food systems strategies, we are ordinarily a nation capable of feeding ourselves with strategic grain reserve of 189 568 tonnes of cereals. Our nation faces a food deficit of nearly 680 000 tonnes of grain. This deficit will be bridged by imports,” he added.

Cognisant of the foregoing situation of the climate change induced drought, President Mnangagwa said the nation requires measures and interventions as provided for in by the laws of the country.

“To that end, I do hereby declare a nationwide State of Disaster, due to the El Nino- induced drought. Accordingly, I now invoke Section 27, Subsection 1 of the Civil Protection Act (Chapter10:6), which provides that: ‘if any time it appears to the President that any disaster of such a nature and extent that extra ordinary measures are necessary to assist and protect the persons affected or likely to be affected by the disaster in any area of the country, the Presidency may, in such a manner as he considers fit, declare that, with effect from a date specified by him , a state of disaster exists within an area or areas specified by him in the Declaration’ President,” said President Mnangagwa.


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