“Yes to food, but …” – Mugabe
Despite a stern warning that it WILL not accept any food aid with “political strings attached”, President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF government has invited officials from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to assess the food security situation in the country. A second successive year of drought and major disruptions in the farming sector in recent years have resulted in the country producing less than one-third of its annual food requirements this year.
“Government will certainly sit down and decide which aid agencies or organisations to allow in assisting with food distribution. We realise that there are organisations bent on using aid as a political tool to enhance the interests of the opposition, and we are not going to allow that,” agriculture minister Rugare Gumbo said. “We are going through a severe drought and we realise the need to step up food imports, but we first of all have to get an independent assessment of the situation; that is why we have invited WFP and FAO,” he added. – Irin
Bulawayo runs dry
With its main water supply dams expected to run dry by September, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, is planning to transport water by train from the Zambezi River, about 400km northwest of the city. “We are actively pursuing the idea of a water train to bring the precious liquid, because our current supplies will be exhausted by October. Under the plan, the train would draw water from the Zambezi River before it is purified and distributed to residents in Bulawayo,” said Moffat Ndlovu, the city’s town clerk. – Irin