19k in need of food aid in Byo
FOOD aid beneficiaries in Bulawayo have increased from 14 000 to nearly 19 000 with the province computerising its database to curb cases of double allocations.
Bulawayo Provincial Administrator Mrs Khonzani Ncube said the registration exercise for the vulnerable was a continuous process.
She said by March next year, the province expects to have registered about 30 000 vulnerable people.
“Registration and verification is ongoing so we started at 3 000, moved to 14 000 and we’re now at 18 882 because there is adequate grain to give deserving cases.
“Our peak period is between January and March because this is an ongoing exercise. We expect to reach 30 000 people as indicated by the Minister of State,” said Mrs Ncube.
Earlier this year, the Minister State for Provincial Affairs in Bulawayo, Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo, said more than 30 000 people in Bulawayo require food aid. She said the closure of companies was one of the reasons necessitating food handouts.
Mrs Ncube said the province has introduced a card system and computerised its food beneficiary database to curb cases of double allocations.
“We had to introduce our own card system so that we guard against double dippings and overlaps. We’ve computerised and have a data bank. The 18 000 are captured in a data bank with all their particulars. If you don’t have a system in place people are bound to take advantage,” she said.
Mrs Ncube said the card system is designed to ensure that members have a permanent number which is called out during distribution.
The Bulawayo PA said the provincial department of social welfare will continue with its verification process to identify deserving people.
Mrs Ncube said the province was not being supported by any non-governmental organisation in food aid provision. She said they had received 2 000 metric tonnes of rice that has been distributed to local institutions that support the vulnerable.
“Rice is a once off distribution unlike grain. So we calculated and we’re going to be giving 42 institutions in the province and the remainder of the rice we will find a way of distributing it in December so that people can have rice for Christmas,” said Mrs Ncube. — @ nqotshili