Mice Outbreak A Blessing In Disguise For COVID-19 Hit Chisumbanje Villagers
7 September 2021
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By Desdemona Munengwa| With COVID-19 reportedly causing increased poverty levels globally, Chisumbanje women in Chipinge district have turned to selling mice (mbeva) and quelea birds (ngozha) for survival.

Chisumbanje area is currently experiencing an outbreak of mice which villagers catch in large numbers for household relish and selling to travelers along the Tanganda-Ngundu highway.

One person can catch more than 200 mice in one day while those with more traps can even catch up to a thousand.

Speaking during a recent meeting conducted by the Platform For Youth and Community Development which works in Chipinge and Chimanimani communities, women confessed that the outbreak of mice had helped them overcome poverty which was caused by COVID-19 and lockdowns imposed by government.

One villager and a PYCD gender activist Qxhelani Mahanya said “We can catch about more than 300 mice per night and then after preparing them, we sell them for R1 or 10 bond.

This has been a blessing in disguise as we are able to make money to buy other household needs.”

A vendor at Checheche Growth point, Tariro (24) said selling mice has helped her a lot as she is relieved of buying relish and cooking oil.

“Buying cooking oil is no-longer a necessity as the mice we catch have own fat which we also use in vegetables,” said Tariro.

According to WFP, over a quarter of the country’s urban residents are resorting to skipping meals almost daily, and only 54 % are eating an acceptable diet.

This year’s edition of The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’s released last week estimated that around a tenth of the global population – up to 811 million people – were undernourished last year.

The number suggests it will take a tremendous effort for the world to honor its pledge to end hunger by 2030.