19k in need of food aid in Byo

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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