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Drought hits Zimbabwe, thousands of cattle dead

Severe water shortages are also affecting the Midlands and Matabeleland South.

FILE: The worst hit areas are in the south of the country, nearest to South Africa. Picture: AFP.

ZIMBABWE - As South Africa shoulders its own major water crisis, other countries in the region haven't been spared the hardships of the El Niño-induced drought.

In Zimbabwe, reports say around 7,000 cattle have died in its southern provinces.

The worst hit areas are in the south of the country, nearest to South Africa.

The Chronicle says that Masvingo province is the hardest hit, with around 5,000 cattle reported to have died there since temperatures went up in October.

Severe grazing and water shortages are also affecting the Midlands and Matabeleland South.

As in South Africa, where five provinces have been declared drought disaster areas, the El Niño effect on the climate has played havoc with this year's rainy season.

It's a grim reminder of 1992, the worst drought to hit Zimbabwe in living memory.