Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
THE government is planning to conduct a comprehensive crop assessment exercise as it moves to avert possible hunger induced by drought, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Up to 1, 5 million people will need food aid in the next three months.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira told The Chronicle that the crop assessment exercise would be one of the items on the priority list when cabinet resumes sitting next week.
The Minister was speaking on the side-lines of the ongoing International Labour Organisation (ILO) field directors retreat in Victoria Falls that started on Monday and ends tomorrow.
Mupfumira said Zimbabwe, just like the whole of Southern Africa, was suffering from the effects of El Nino and drought was imminent.
She said it was important that the region comes up with programmes to mitigate the challenges caused by drought.
“We are going to have the first crop assessment to see what’s really on the ground and we are also going to revise the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) as we want to give assistance to the vulnerable.
“There is a need to revise and revisit it because the emergencies we are getting are much more than what we anticipated. As soon as Cabinet resumes sitting the issue will be tabled.
“The numbers have gone high and we have much more than 1,5 million in need of assistance yet we used to talk of around 300, 000 vulnerable people but the number has increased 10 fold,” Mupfumira said.
The government has been distributing food to vulnerable families through the social welfare department.
It has since scaled up imports, with President Robert Mugabe declaring that no one would starve.