Mutsvangwa says El Nino induced drought impacts women, girls more

Food reserves, boreholes on hand to mitigate crisis  

By Caleb Chikwawawa

Women Affairs Minister Monica Mutsvangwa says the prevailing El Nino induced drought is impacting women and girls more than men as they carry the extra burden of walking longer distances to reach alternative sources of water for use by their families.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of a severe drought period caused by significantly reduced rainfall, severely affecting agricultural output and leading to adverse food and nutritional shortages

In remarks she made at a media conference on Thursday as the country prepared to commemorate the International Women’s Day on Friday, Mutsvangwa said it is now common knowledge the El Nino induced drought is bringing a lot of misery.

“Climate change affects women and girls disproportionately and we are saying they are the ones, true to the fact who bear the biggest brunt,” the minister said.

The cabinet minister said the government has put aside some food reserves and has scaled up borehole drilling to try and mitigate the crisis faced by vulnerable communities.

“Thanks to his Excellency by that Pfumvudza, Intwasa, we managed to produce what we can call a little reserve, we have got some reserves,” she said.

“We are also aware of the fact that cabinet is looking into importing some food and you are aware that President has put it on record that no one in this country will die of hunger.

“Climate change as I said affects women and girls more. When we look at it, without water, without rain, it means women will be traveling long distances to get water.

“So, we have been talking about increasing the number of borehole drilling in our country. 

“We are looking at really more than 35 000 boreholes, meaning that in every village there should be a borehole so that at least women will not have to travel long distances to get water.

“Sanitations is another issue when there is no water, diseases is another and of course the biggest one, food insecurity in households.

“I am happy that the government is up to the challenge and we have already started a survey to see how many people are in need in terms of food mitigation programme.

“Already the Ministry of social welfare who we will work with very closely because we are concerned and they are a part of the committee which goes out there taking the records, registration of families, one by one to make sure that all those who need help are helped.”

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