Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE prevailing cash challenges are the major problem affecting rural households in the country, the latest Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report has said.
The 2017 Rural Livelihoods Assessment report says about 47 percent of rural households in the country are struggling due to cash problems.
“Cash shortages (46,9 percent), water logging (42,7 percent), drought (32,3 percent) and crop pests (29,9 percent) were reported as shocks which affected households between April 2016 and March 2017,” read the report.
The Zimvac report said some communities were experiencing localised problems not cutting across the country.
“Some households experienced localised shocks which included flooding (9.6 percent), human wildlife conflict (4.8 percent) and veld fires (0.9 percent),” reads the report.
It said from those facing different challenges, there were severe cases within their groups.
On those severely affected, the report said: “A proportion of households who experienced shocks reported severe impact of cash shortages (64 percent), water logging (59 percent), impact of the 2015- 2016 El Nino induced drought (69 percent) and crop pests (50 percent).”
The Zimvac report said 40 percent of rural households said they would not be able to cope with similar problems they were facing if they persisted for another 12 months while 45 percent said they will be manage although under severe challenges.
“About 40 percent of the sampled households who indicated that they experienced shocks and hazards in the last 12 months reported that they will be unable to cope with similar shocks and stressors if they recur in the next 12 months,” read the report.
“Without external assistance, the majority of households reported that they will either be unable to cope or may cope with difficulties if they are to experience either drought, floods, livestock diseases, crop pests or crop diseases in the next season.”
Zimvac said economic challenges were at the centre of some problems.
“Communities are faced with a host of shocks and hazards both natural and anthropogenic impacting negatively on their ability to access their food and non-food requirements. The situation is being compounded by the recurrent under-performing macro-economic situation with cash shortages being one of the immediate areas requiring the attention of Government and stakeholders,” reads the report.
“There is a need for proactive multi-stake holder resilience building interventions to ensure that vulnerable communities meet their daily food and non-food requirements before they venture into negative coping strategies that may lead to loss of their productive assets.”