Mnangagwa declares drought a national disaster

By Staff Reporter

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared Zimbabwe’s drought a national disaster, paving way for a concerted effort to mitigate the calamity through efforts that include grain imports to cover the food deficit.

Addressing journalists at State House in Harare on Wednesday, Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe required more than US$2 billion in aid to feed millions facing starvation.

Mnangagwa said 80 percent of the country had received poor rains.

“We expect 868 273 metric tonnes from this season’s harvest, hence our Nation faces a food cereal deficit of nearly 680 000 metric tonnes of grain.

“This deficit will be bridged by imports. Measures to encourage private sector participation are already in place.

“Top on our priority is securing food for all Zimbabweans. No Zimbabwean must succumb to, or die from hunger.”

Mnangagwa added, “Accordingly. I now invoke Section 72Subsection I of the Civil Protection Act (Chapfer 10:06), which provides that:

“If at any time it appears to the President that any disaster of such nature and extent that extraordinary 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 President 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”.

The Zimbabwean leader further appealed for forms of assistance from individuals and organisations in efforts to mitigate the disaster.

“By this Declaration, I also call upon all Zimbabweans of goodwill, including those in the diaspora; the international community, United Nations Agencies, Development and Humanitarian Partners, International Financial Institutions; the private sector, churches and other faith-based organisations, as well as individuals to generously donate towards ameliorating this State of National Disaster,” Mnangagwa said.

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