London : Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, has declared a state of disaster in rural areas hit by a severe drought, as more than a quarter of the population faces food shortages.
The Guardian reported that the El Nino weather phenomenon has engulfed the region resulting into drought and leaving tens of thousands of cattle dead, reservoirs depleted and crops destroyed.
Formerly known as the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe has suffered perennial shortages in recent years and has relied on importing grain from neighbouring countries to meet its needs.
Mugabe has blamed low farm yields on erratic rains due to climate change as well as sanctions imposed by western countries over the Government’s human rights record.
Overall, the food insecure population has since risen to 2.44 million i.e 26% of the population.
Critics said the food shortages have been caused partially by land reforms enacted by the President since 2000, when the government oversaw the often violent eviction of white farmers.(ANI)