via Govt to feed 20 000 in Mat South | The Herald November 5, 2015
More than 20 000 Matabeleland South households are set to receive maize under the ongoing drought relief targeting families in all the country’s 10 provinces.
Matabeleland South provincial administrator Mr Midard Khumalo said so far 616,8 tonnes of grain have been delivered to all the seven districts in the province.
Government is importing the grain for distribution in its own non-commercial programme, following President Mugabe’s pledge that no one will die from hunger.
At least 20 335 households that include the elderly, the disabled, the chronically ill and child-headed families in Matabeleland South are set to benefit from the programme.
Mr Khumalo said each household would receive at least a 50kg bag of maize every month. He said there was need to increase the distribution.
“The drought relief process is ongoing as 616,8 tonnes have reached the provinces so far. We have made a good start but most of the grain is still at the depots and it has not reached the beneficiaries,” said Mr Khumalo.
“There is a great challenge in transporting the grain from depots to districts but some stakeholders are assisting in this process.”
He said in Gwanda, 3 211 households were expected to benefit while 1 896 would get assistance in Beitbridge.
A total of 2 654 would benefit in Insiza; 5 001 in Umzingwane; 2 500 in Matobo; 4 256 in Bulilima and 817 in Mangwe.
Mr Khumalo said the grain distribution would go a long way in alleviating food challenges faced by districts that recorded poor harvests because of drought.
Chief Bango from Mangwe District said vulnerable people in his community had started receiving grain, but indicated that more was needed as some people may be left out.
“It is a relief that the Government has started addressing food challenges being faced by people. However, it appears that the intervention measures might be inadequate as a lot of people are struggling to access food,” he said.
“About 62 households in my area received the grain and it appears that most people will not be reached. My area has over 1 000 households and if half are incorporated in the programme then that could make a huge difference.”
Chief Bango said food shortages were disrupting lessons in schools as some pupils failed to attend classes due to hunger.