The Japanese government last week through World Food Programme (WFP) availed US$1,5million to villagers in Mwenezi.
The fund which is meant to help local communities sustain themselves through community assets which include irrigation, nutrition gardens and rehabilitation of waires will go a long way in curbing the high stunting levels the area records.
Mwenezi District Administrator said the high stunting levels are a result of a prolonged dry spell that usually hits the area.
Mrs Rosemary Chigwe, the DA of Mwenezi Rural district council was speaking on behalf of Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa on a ceremony marking the Japanese contribution to World Food Programme’s (WFP) Productive Assets Creation held at Tsvimborume dam in Mwenezi.
“Mwenezi is a dry area which is arid characterized by dry spells leading to the areas’ high stunting levels.
“The long dry spells have resulted in redundant growth of food crops succumbing to a shortage of food among families,”said Mrs Chigwe
The shortage of food has led to most of the children in the areas being stunted.
She applauded the US$ 1, 5 million fund saying that it will be channeled towards projects meant to curtail stunting.
“The creation of the dam means that women will spend less time foraging water; thereby allowing them to breastfeed for longer hours,” she said.
She added that the dam will contribute significantly to food security in the district
WFP country representative Eddie Rowe assured people of Mwenezi that his organization will make sure that community members are provided opportunities that will help them sustain themselves.
“We will make sure that our foot prints are recognized in Masvingo and we will continue doing so until we defeat hunger,” he said.
Japanese ambassador Yoshinobu Hiraishi urged the people of Mwenezi to utilise the program to scale up production as well as supplement income.
“This programme seeks to strengthen the power of resistance of the local community to natural disasters such as drought by helping community to build viable assets such as this Dam,” he said.