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image SWSC Managing Director Peter Bhembe (R) speaking to cabinet ministers at the top of a bridge at Hawane dam.

HAWANE – About 107 000 people in the country are in need of food aid.

This was said by the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Paul Dlamini. The DPM was speaking during a tour of the Hawane Dam hosted by the Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC). Present during the tour were Cabinet ministers, members of Parliament and some officials from SWSC. The DPM said the number of people in need of food aid due to the drought was escalating in an alarming way. He said at first, 32 000 were in need of food but now 107 000 were without food.

Dlamini said their predictions showed that by March and April, about 300 000 people would be in need of food aid. Dlamini said the situation would be worse next year as people had not ploughed their fields.  “Meteorology officials have stated that rain is expected between February and March 2016,” he said.

Dlamini encouraged those who irrigated their sugar cane fields to plough maize, so that people could have food next year. He said the harvest this year was not good, and the situation would be worse next year. The DPM said only 10 days of water supply for Mbabane was left. He said it would be a bad thing for the capital city to have no water as it was the source of life for every Swazi. He said those who were able to harvest water should use it sparingly.

“We cannot afford to have people bathing with saliva,” the DPM said.
Dlamini mentioned that people should learn to share what they have with others. He explained that the dam was constructed by SWSC in the 1980s but was later handed over to SNTC for tourism purposes.

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