An aid agency said on Friday the situation was turning grim and many families in the Shinyanga district, south of Lake Victoria, were already down to one meal a day.

"Some young girls are being forced to marry into wealthy households so their families can buy food with their dowries," a spokesman for the Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWSD) agency said.

"Others are turning to prostitution," he added.

Disaster Ahead

Predicting a catastrophic future, PWSD said crop production next farming season would be affected since people were eating seeds instead of planting them.

Farmers were also traveling to look for work instead of working on their own land.

The ongoing drought was expected to diminish pastures and water sources, making the situation worse.

"We are at a point where we can do a lot to bring about positive changes before this becomes a full-blown disaster," the aid official said.