The sports category has moved to a new website.
ADVERTISEMENT

Child hunger and death rising due to drought, charity says

Mothers are foraging for wild berries and roots to feed their children, while going without food themselves for up to five days, the charity said.

Child hunger and death rising in Zimbabwe due to drought, charity says

Child hunger and deaths are rising in Zimbabwe due to the worst drought in two decades, with thousands facing starvation by the end of the year without additional aid, an international charity said on Thursday.

Southern Africa has been hard hit over the past year by drought exacerbated by El Niño, a warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which has wilted crops, slowed economic growth and driven food prices higher.

"This is an emergency," Save the Children UK's interim chief executive Tanya Steele said in a statement, after visiting Binga, on Zimbabwe's western border with Zambia.

"Some children are already dying of complications from malnutrition."

ADVERTISEMENT

The number of under-fives who have died of hunger-related causes in Binga town has reached 200 over the last 18 months -- triple the usual rate, it said.

More than 60 million people, two thirds of them in east and southern Africa, are facing food shortages because of droughts linked to El Nino, according to the United Nations.

The U.N. World Food Programme estimates around 4 million people -- one in three Zimbabweans -- are struggling to meet their basic food needs.

The peak of the emergency is likely to be between October and March, the U.N. children's fund (UNICEF) said.

Hundreds of young children across the country are being admitted to hospital for malnutrition each month, it said, while child neglect, abuse and child labour are on the rise.

ADVERTISEMENT

HIV/AIDS is often one of the underlying causes of malnutrition in Zimbabwe, where 15 percent of adults are living with the disease, U.N. figures show.

The number of children suffering malnutrition is expected to rise sharply in the coming months, Save the Children said.

"Most of the severely malnourished children who receive no help are likely to die," it said.

"Around half of these with moderate acute malnutrition could also perish without some form of intervention."

El Nino ended in May but meteorologists predict a La Nina event, which usually brings floods to southern Africa, is likely to develop in the second half of this year,

ADVERTISEMENT

Erratic, late rains in Zimbabwe led to a poor harvest in April, with some families suffering their second or third consecutive year of poor production, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET).

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Nigeria wins UN Economic, Social Council seat

Nigeria wins UN Economic, Social Council seat

Sanwo-Olu appoints SSG, re-appoints 2 others

Sanwo-Olu appoints SSG, re-appoints 2 others

Tinubu signs bill to extend judicial officers retirement from 65 to 70 years

Tinubu signs bill to extend judicial officers retirement from 65 to 70 years

Kano APC seeks tribunal’s order to inspect governorship election materials

Kano APC seeks tribunal’s order to inspect governorship election materials

Yar’Adua bags posthumous award, ex-UNILAG VC, others honoured

Yar’Adua bags posthumous award, ex-UNILAG VC, others honoured

PDP wants Ogun, Nasarawa governorship tribunals transferred to Abuja

PDP wants Ogun, Nasarawa governorship tribunals transferred to Abuja

Family breaks silence on Anambra Senator’s death

Family breaks silence on Anambra Senator’s death

Niger Speaker dissolves Assembly as 2 of 27 members make return

Niger Speaker dissolves Assembly as 2 of 27 members make return

Coalition tasks Tinubu on 5 rejected gender bills

Coalition tasks Tinubu on 5 rejected gender bills

Pulse Sports

'There are people in Barcelona who don't want me to return' — Messi

EXCLUSIVE: ‘It is only Paul Onuachu’ — Frank Onyeka reveals his Super Eagles friend

Explained: How much will Lionel Messi earn at Inter Miami in USA?

Ese Brume soars to her best mark this season at ORLEN's Cup

Romelu Lukaku gives advice on how to stop racism in football

Victor Osimhen’s unprecedented Capocannoniere

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT