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People dying of hunger at Sandleni - MP

image HUNGRY: Sandleni MP James Simelane.

PEOPLE have started dying of hunger at Sandleni Constituency in the Shiselweni region.

PEOPLE have started dying of hunger at Sandleni Constituency in the Shiselweni region.  

A highly disturbed Sandleni Member of Parliament James Simelane said the hunger situation has reached crisis levels. 

“We have started burying people who are dying of hunger. It’s just that each time a community member dies, there is always a disease that is associated with the death when in fact the disease itself has been accelerated by the hunger,” said a helpless Simelane.

MP Simelane said in his constituency there has been no agricultural activity at all for the past two ploughing seasons. 

“There was totally nothing to harvest. Those who were brave enough to plough had their crops destroyed by the scorching sun before they reached maturity,’’ said a distraught Simelane. 

During the 2013/2014 ploughing season, Simelane said he was fortunate to harvest at least 80 bags of maize which, however, were consumed jointly with 61 other families. 

These families, he said, had nothing at all and he became the only source of food for them until it was all finished. 

“Now that I’m also surviving on purchased food parcels, I don’t know what would become of them,’’ he said. 

Simelane said he had run out of ideas on what to do. He approached government seeking food donations but to date has not received anything positive. 

The worst part, Simelane said, was that government trucks carrying bags of food drove past his Sandleni Constituency to Shiselweni 1 and other nearby constituencies, while his electorate watched in utter amazement and disgust. 

He said some of the residents in the various communities under his constituency were now suspecting that he was the one behind government’s failure or refusal to distribute food in the constituency. 

His people failed to understand why they were left licking their wounds while other constituencies were pampered with both food rations and money. Simelane said at first government told them there was no money to mitigate the hunger crisis. 

Simelane said while they tried their best to be understanding and accept the excuse by government, the deteriorating hunger situation made them lose all the patience they had. 

He said their expectation was that government would suspend some of her projects to channel the funds to the fight for hunger but that was unfortunately not happening.

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