Zimbabwe Declares Nationwide State of Disaster Amid El Niño-Induced Drought

April 3, 2024
President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa | Report Focus News
President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has declared a nationwide State of Disaster in Zimbabwe

In response to the dire humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the El Niño-induced drought, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has declared a nationwide State of Disaster in Zimbabwe. The declaration comes as the country grapples with the devastating effects of the prolonged drought, which has severely impacted agricultural production and threatened the food security of millions of Zimbabweans.

President Mnangagwa’s declaration specifically identifies the 2023/2024 summer cropping season as a national disaster, attributing the crisis to the El Niño weather phenomenon. The drought has ravaged crops and depleted water sources, leaving vast swathes of farmland barren and communities struggling to access food and water.

According to government estimates, approximately 2.7 million people are expected to face food insecurity as a result of the drought, highlighting the urgent need for intervention. In response, the government has pledged to prioritize the distribution of food supplies to vulnerable households, ensuring that all Zimbabweans have access to essential sustenance.

“Securing food for all Zimbabweans is our top priority,” President Mnangagwa emphasized, underscoring the government’s commitment to addressing the pressing needs of the population. To bolster national food security efforts, resources will be mobilized to support agricultural initiatives and mitigate the impact of the drought on livelihoods.

A preliminary assessment conducted by Zimbabwean authorities has revealed the staggering scale of the challenge ahead, with projections indicating that over US$2 billion will be required to implement comprehensive intervention measures. This includes investment in irrigation infrastructure, drought-resistant crops, and emergency food aid programs aimed at alleviating the suffering of affected communities.

The declaration of a nationwide State of Disaster underscores the gravity of the situation and the imperative for immediate action. With millions of lives at stake, Zimbabwe is calling for international support and solidarity to address the humanitarian crisis and build resilience against future climate-related shocks.

As the country braces for the long-term effects of the drought, concerted efforts are underway to mitigate its impact and safeguard the well-being of all Zimbabweans. President Mnangagwa’s administration remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring that no one is left behind in the fight against hunger and deprivation.