PUNANI FOR 50 Cents - Drought and starvation forces teenagers to sell PUNANI

Food shortages are said to have ravaged Mwenezi so much that many teenagers have turned to commercial PUNANI at Neshuro, Sarahuro and Rutenga where they are being paid 50 cents for an act.

Families in the district have also resorted to harvesting an insect called cicada (nyenze) and storing it hoping that that it would provide relish for the next two or three months.

A family told The Mirror last week that it has so far harvested five 50kg packets of the insect and this would keep it going for sometime in terms of relish since dams that are used to irrigate gardens have dried up.

A family from Chibaya Village under Chief Chitanga confirmed the situation to The Mirror and said insect harvesting has become one of the survival tactics.
PUNANI FOR  50 Cents - Drought and starvation forces teenagers to sell PUNANI
“The Machaina Dam which used to supply us with water for gardening is almost dry and the villagers agreed on reserving the little water that is left for livestock. The only option is to harvest the cicada insect but I feel pity for my children who have to eat this with sadza everyday”, said a local headman.

“We only harvest and eat insects just to fill our tummies. The insect does not have blood and flesh, so we only eat it to help sadza go down. It is a very tough time for us as a family,” he said.

The insects are cooked for three to five minutes after which salt is added. Many families in the district are affected by the shortage of food except those that are getting food from World Food Program.

Mwenezi is known to have a serious shortage of vegetables during the dry season but this year the situation has been compounded by the ravaging drought.

Source-Masvingo Mirror

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