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Hunger forces pupils to stay out of school

10 March 2016, 22:46

Bulawayo - Pupils in some parts of Zimbabwe are reportedly staying out of school in large numbers as El Nino induced hunger continues to rock the southern African country.

According to the state-owned Chronicle newspaper, pupils in the Matabeleland region were "dropping" out in droves, with some students said to be collapsing while at school.

Matebeleland North provincial director Boithathelo Mnguni said the El Nino induced drought, which has been experienced in most parts of the country, was taking its toll on the school children.

"They are not dropping out of school, because dropping out means someone is no longer interested in school. They are absent from school because of hunger. We are recording lot of absenteeism in schools," Mnguni was quoted as saying.

According to Unicef, one million children across eastern and southern Africa were suffering from "severe acute malnutrition" after two years of drought and the strongest El Nino in 50 years.

Children in the region faced worsening food and water shortages, with rising prices exacerbating the situation as families were forced to skip meals and sell belongings.

- News 24


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