From George Maponga in Masvingo
Chivi Rural District Council has initiated a campaign to raise funds for procuring cheap maize for nearly 100 000 impoverished people who are grappling with severe food shortage in the arid district.
The district, which is one of the most populous here, is one of the hardest hit by the prevailing drought with non-governmental organisations and Government battling to provide food to all families in need.
Speaking at the launch of the “Save A Dollar Campaign”, with a target to raise $1 million at Shindi Secondary School on Saturday, Chivi RDC chair councillor Killer Zivhu appealed to the international community and well-wishers to help avert starvation in the district.
Clr Zivhu said nearly 30 000 households in his district faced starvation.
“We have decided to introduce the ‘Save A Dollar Campaign’ where the international community and other well-wishers are invited to give whatever they have to save the people of Chivi who are facing one of the worst food shortages in living memory,’’ he said.
“Our point is that, people can save lives by just donating a dollar. Those willing to make donations can channel them through EcoCash using the Chivi RDC biller code 73714 or council’s merchant code 73714,’’ he added.
He said vulnerable members of the society such as orphans and the elderly were the worst affected by food shortages in Chivi District.
Chivi district administrator Mr Bernard Hadzirabwi hailed Clr Zivhu for moving in to mitigate food shortages in the district by initiating the “Save A Dollar Campaign”.
Mr Hadzirabwi said while Government and the World Food Programme had started food relief distribution in Chivi, a large number of families are still in need of food in one of the poorest districts in Masvingo.
“We are getting food assistance from Government and NGOs, but the assistance is enough to cater for only about 11 000 households out of the 36 000 households that we have in Chivi.
“We have a huge deficit which we hope will be further reduced by the ‘Save A Dollar Campaign’,’’ said Mr Hadzirabwi.
Clr Zivhu handed over 10kg bags of mealie-meal that he donated to 1 000 families to ease food shortages in the Shindi area in Chivi.