Manicaland sends food SOS

Source: Manicaland sends food SOS | The Herald

Manicaland sends food SOSMinister Gwaradzimba

Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
Manicaland Province has appealed for more food aid for victims of Cyclone Idai following revelations that food stocks availed in the aftermath of the disaster had dwindled significantly and would not be sufficient to feed the people until the next harvest.

Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba yesterday said most of the food aid that had been distributed had been targeted at Chimanimani and Chipinge, leaving out other districts that had also been affected.

“As the people of Manicaland we want to express our sincere gratitude to all those who donated generously in the form of food and non-food items.

‘‘However, an assessment which was recently carried out by the Civil Protection team working with our development partners indicates that our problem is still far from being over.

‘‘Districts such as Buhera, Mutare and Mutasa did not receive the much-needed assistance compared to Chimanimani and Chipinge. We are therefore appealing for more assistance so that we are able to continue to offer assistance to the affected communities.”

In March, the province sent an SOS for assistance with food for its people following a poor cropping season which was exacerbated by cyclone Idai induced rains that destroyed the remaining crop in Mutare, Buhera and parts of Makoni.

“Due to the demand for more food by affected communities, the province has prepared a monthly food basket per household which we will use in distributing food in the future,” she said.

Minister Gwaradzimba said 41 304 households had been affected in the province and were in need of assistance.

She said Government would continue coming up with long term solutions to make the affected communities self-sustainable.

“At the moment, Government is rolling out short to medium and long term plans to enable the affected communities to venture into income generating projects so that they can sustain their lives.

In addition to the above, the communities themselves are also interested in venturing into income generating projects such as poultry, market gardening, piggery goat rearing, fish farming and castor and soya bean farming,” she said.

According to the food basket prepared by the CPU, most basic food items are in short supply.

Out of a total of 1 930,21 tonnes of mealie -meal needed per month, the province only has 134 tonnes in stock, leaving a shortfall of 1 796 tonnes.

There is about 25 050 litres of cooking oil in stock against a total monthly requirement of 161 783 litres.

Shortfalls have also been recorded in beans, sugar, matemba, soya chunks, rice, tea leaves, salt and flour among other food stuffs.

Non-food items that are in short supply include blankets, candles, matches, water treatment chemicals, kitchen utensils, sanitary wear, bath and laundry soap as well as baby diapers.