Matabeleland which boasts some of the best land in Zimbabwe is this year facing one of the most serious droughts on record.
GV Dried up river beds in Matabeleland Plumtree area. (3 SHOTS)
SV Sheep grazing on parched land. (2 SHOTS)
SV Women carrying water in baskets on their heads.
SV Donkey drawn water-cart moving along dirt track. (2 SHOTS)
GVs Dried up maize and other crops. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: Matabeleland which boasts some of the best land in Zimbabwe is this year facing one of the most serious droughts on record. The Zimbabwe Veterinary Service says that the worst hit areas are Plumtree South, Beitbridge, West Nicholson and Tjolotjo. Livestock belonging to communal land farmers has been drastically reduced by the lack of rain. Every drop of water is precious in this drought ravaged area and is often transported by traditional methods. As a solution to the crisis farmers have been forced to sell their cattle to the CSE (Cold Storage Commission), who are shipping cattle away from drought areas to better grazing in Mashonaland. It has been predicted that when the moving operation is completed Metabeleland will have lost nearly half its cattle. Crop production is also expected to fall by 40 per cent. Zimbabwe meteorological services have predicted a continuation of the drought into 1983.