A nationwide State of Disaster has been declared by the President of Zimbabwe


A nationwide State of Disaster has been declared by the President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, ED Mnangagwa, following the climate change-induced drought.

Speaking on Wednesday April 3, 2024, the President invoked Section 27, Subsection 1 of the Civil Protection Act (chapter 10:6), which provides that: “if any time it appears to the President that any disaster of such a nature, and extent that extra ordinary measures are necessary to assist and protect the persons affected, or likely to be affected by the disaster in any area of the country, the presidency may, and such a manner as he considers fit, declare that, with effect from a date specified by him, state of disaster exists within an area or areas specified by him in the Declaration.

“The current agricultural season of 2023 to 2024 has not performed according to expectations due to the El Niño-induced drought as a result, more than 80 per cent of our country received below normal rainfall. The country had put a total of 1,728,897 ha under maize crop and other cereals. Ordinarily this would have guaranteed a bountiful harvest. Further worsening the situation characterised by poor rainfall was the outbreak of Fall Army Worm across the country.”

According to the President, we expect 868,273 metric tons from this season’s harvest, hence our nation faces a food cereal deficit of nearly 680,000 metric tons of grain. This deficit will be bridged by imports. “Measures to encourage private sector participation in this regard are already in place.”

The Strategic Grain Reserve currently holds 189,568 metric tons of cereals. This constitutes 145,604 metric tons of maize and 43,964 metric tons of traditional grains. “My administration has made a decision to allocate 138,905, metric tons of surplus wheat towards our Strategic Grain Reserve. This will give a combined total of about 356,000 metric tons of cereals.”

Reports indicate that more than 2.7 million people are currently food insecure in Zimbabwe and that our country requires in excess of USD 2 billion towards various interventions.

Picture credit: Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services

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