AT LEAST 22 people, the majority of them children under the age of four, have died of malnutrition and related causes in Bulawayo in the last three months as hunger begins to take its toll on th
e country’s urban areas.
The Bulawayo city council in its Health, Housing and Education report released at the beginning of this week says the highest number of malnutrition deaths from the month of October were of minors between the age of one month and four years.
The report states that 18 of the recorded deaths are those of children under the age of four while another child in the five to 14 year age-group also succumbed to malnutrition.
The report further states that three adults in the age group of between 60 and 70 years also died in the last three months due to malnutrition.
The figure brings to about 62 thenumber of people who have succumbed to malnutrition since August last year in the city. The Bulawayo city council in October announced that over 40 people, the majority of them children under the age of five, died of malnutrition in the city.
The deaths come as the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZVAC) is about to present its findings on the food situation in urban areas.
The assessment was commissioned in September by the donor agencies to look into the situation in the country’s urban areas that have not been spared by the food shortages.
The WFP has also warned that the food situation in the country’s urban areas is getting critical. The WFP is facing a US$111 million shortfall from a US$197 million international appeal it sent out in June last year to feed over six million Zimbabweans in need of food aid.