Govt to distribute three months’ food supply: 7.5 kg per family member

The government says it will distribute enough food for three months to each disadvantaged family, with each household member receiving 7.5 kilogrammes of grain.

According to July Moyo, the Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, 6.1 million people in rural regions will receive over 138 000 metric tonnes of food to feed them for three months.

This is meant to reduce transportation costs and administrative burdens while allowing ward officers to plan for the next distribution cycle.

Speaking at a drought mitigation meeting with District Development Coordinators (DDCs) and social welfare officers from Matabeleland North and South in Bulawayo on Sunday, the minister said coordination was required between them, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NZ)to move and distribute food to the wards.

“To persuade the many doubting Thomases that said we won’t be able to give food, we have analysed every depot, where some have nothing or inadequate food. In the first three months, we are going to move over 138 000 metric tonnes to cover 6.1 million people in the rural areas,” Moyo said.

The minister said his ministry knew what was required in each district, so social welfare officers had a formula for distributing food.

“Wherever you have distributed we want records and we want you to do it very fast,” he said. 

“So from the date that you have given them food, say 30 May, so for June, July, August, you will not be giving them but planning for the next months.”

Moyo said the government was planning to continue distributing food until the end of March next year. 

“I know it’s difficult to start but once we have started, we have to make sure we have time in between those months to plan for the next delivery” he said.

“We expect that as soon as we finish GMB will be replenished. They now know the numbers of people and tonnage needed for the next three months.” 

The minister said every vulnerable family will receive 7.5 KG per person. 

“Whether the child is born today, she or he deserves 7.5 kg although some food will be eaten by the mother who also gets 7.5 kg. So if we have five people, you multiply that by 7.5kg,” Moyo said, urging GMB, NRZ and social workers to work on the finer details of moving the food.

“We looked at all the depots in Matabeleland South, the only demo in Matabeleland South with enough food is Beitbridge. We expect a report from Beitbridge that you started moving food. If you have not, write down and say why.”

The minister noted that Insiza, Gwanda, Umzingwane, Matopo, Mangwe, and Bulilima do not have enough food.

“We are not going to move food from Bulawayo to Umzingwane by road. We are going to use the intermodal transportation system. It is easier to load NRZ and offload food in Mbalabala, Gwanda and West Nicholson. We will use BBR to do that,” he said, 

“For you GMB, you will have finished your job because it’s now in the depot. DDC Umzingwane, DDC Gwanda and DDC Insiza – you will still have to transport from the station where social welfare will take it to the wards.”

Moyo said the rail transportation was to move and offload into silos easier.

“If we start using trucks some of the numbers are too big so put it in a railway. I know you have started looking for your trucks. We want maize that moves very fast and the railway is there. We will ask if they have enough wagons or locomotives but they told us they have enough.”

The minister said maize will move from Bulawayo to Plumtree, then Plumtree into Bulilima and Mangwe.

“The only direct route is Matopo -GMB will move it to the depot,” he said. 

“If a truck is being loaded, let it not go all the way. If you are going to Mphoengs or Maphisa, social welfare can take it from there to Mphoengs because it’s too far.”

Except for Hwange, all food for Matabeleland North would come from Bulawayo, said the minister.

“Tsholotsho will be loading from here and some of the areas that go through Solusi road. If we can’t load them on railways, use trucks. You need details of which wards can directly be supplied by GMB. If in Sipepa you might need GMB to offload in Tsholotsho,” he said.

Food will be moved by rail from Bulawayo to Sawmills, Cross Dete and Binga.

“If I was planning for Binga I would definitely not take the food to Cross Dete but take it to Lusulu. So plan very well. We hope that from Sawmills you go into Lupane, some can go to parts of Tsholotsho. Some food can go from Cross Dete then back to Lupane,” said the minister.

Food for Nkayi will come from Kwekwe via Lions Den than Bulawayo, said the minister.

“Food from Kwekwe can also go to Zhombe and Gokwe South depots. That planning is going to be done by people who are here. Of course, I don’t want the major planning to be messed up,” he stated.

The minister noted that the government has launched an appeal worth US$3.3 billion, with an expectation that some relief would come locally.

“We have a disaster framework chaired by the Ministers of Local Government and Public Service, under the Cabinet committee that looks at all disasters. In the province, the disaster committee is chaired by DDC, cascading down to the village,” he said, explaining this was part of the Build Back Better concept.

“We have search and rescue, mitigation and adaptation, and resilience.” 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button