Over four thousand cattle died within a month in Masvingo due to the El-Nino induced drought.

A visit to Mavhorondiya village in Zimuto revealed a desperate state of affairs with communal farmers fearing for the worst as their main source of livelihood is decimated.

The veterinary service department director for Masvingo Dr. Earnest Dzimwasha says according to their records 4 000 cattle died in October although the figure could be higher as some incidents are not reported.

“Chiredzi and Mwenezi are among the worst affected when it comes to cattle deaths.  If only the farmers could sell some of their livestock so that they can buy feed for the remaining beasts,” said Dr Dzimwasha.

With the rural folk deriving their livelihood from livestock and subsistence farming prolonged dry spells can only spell doom.

Hope is not entirely lost though as the villagers are patiently waiting for the heavens to open up and avert a looming disaster.

This comes after over eighty elephants died in Zimbabwe and hundreds more across Southern Africa as the effects of climate change continue to pose a threat to Zimbabwe’s eco-system.

Although rangers in the affected areas have devised a plan to pump water into a dam for livestock but the situation has become so dire that both domestic and wild animals are sharing the same sources.