China do­nates 12 500t rice

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Te­dious Manyepo Her­ald Re­porter Her­ald Re­porter

CHINA has do­nated 12 500 tonnes of rice val­ued at over $14,7 mil­lion to help feed the vul­ner­a­ble and food in­se­cure in Zim­babwe.

Chi­nese Am­bas­sador Huang Ping handed over the first con­sign­ment of the rice to Gov­ern­ment at the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board’s Aspin­dale de­pot on Mon­day.

Mr Huang said his coun­try was al­ways ready to of­fer food as­sis­tance to Zim­babwe when­ever the need arose.

This was not the first time that China do­nated to­wards hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance, as the Asian coun­try de­liv­ered over 19 000 tonnes of rice in view of the state of dis­as­ter that had been de­clared by President Mu­gabe af­ter the coun­try ex­pe­ri­enced an El Nino-in­duced ZANU-PF ru­ral dis­trict coun­cil­lors have in­ten­si­fied ef­forts to mo­bilise at least 2,3 mil­lion votes for President Mu­gabe and the rul­ing party in next year’s har­monised elec­tions.

A meet­ing of all the coun­try’s 60 ru­ral dis­trict coun­cils un­der the ban­ner of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cils (ARDC) yes­ter­day re­solved to in­crease ef­forts in mo­bil­is­ing the peo­ple to reg­is­ter as vot­ers. Af­ter reg­is­ter­ing as vot­ers, the coun­cil­lors would be hold­ing meet­ings at ward and vil­lage lev­els, urg­ing the peo­ple to vote for the rul­ing party.

The coun­cil­lors’ meet­ing came in light of the bio­met­ric voter reg­is­tra­tion, which started yes­ter­day and the na­tional mo­bile reg­is­tra­tion for iden­tity cards and birth and death cer­tifi­cates be­ing held by Reg- drought in the 2015-2016 sea­son.

China t his year of­fered Zim­babwe $ 1 mil­lion to help mit­i­gate against the ef­fects of Cy­clone Di­neo floods that rav­aged some parts of the coun­try.

Speak­ing while re­ceiv­ing the rice, Pub­lic Ser­vice, Labour and So­cial Wel­fare Min­is­ter Prisca Mup­fu­mira said more than 100 000 house­holds were food in­se­cure and re­quired in ex­cess of 5 000 tonnes of food aid every month.

She said de­spite t he good har­vest the coun­try at­tained in the past agri­cul­tural sea­son, there were some pock­ets of peo­ple in need of food as­sis­tance.

“The cur­rent fig­ures of food in­se­cure house­holds stand at 101 260, re­quir­ing 5 063 tonnes per month be­tween July and Septem­ber 2017,” said Min­is­ter Mup­fu­mira.

“The fig­ures will in­crease as we progress to­wards peak hunger pe­riod where food in­se­cure house­holds have been pro­jected to be 301 872 re­quir­ing 15 093 tonnes per month be­tween Jan­uary and March 2018.”

Min­is­ter Mup­fu­mira said among the food in­se­cure house­holds were those fam­i­lies af­fected by flood­ing due to Cy­clone Di­neo in Mid­lands, Masvingo, Mate­bele­land North and Mata­bele­land South prov­inces.

“These house­holds lost their crops, live­stock and prop­erty,” she said. “As we speak, a to­tal of 320 house­holds have been re­lo­cated from Sipepa, which is a flood prone area, to Tshino in Tsholot­sho be­cause their area of ori­gin has be­come in­hab­it­able due to flood­ing.

“As such, these house­holds are in need of con­tin­ued food as­sis­tance un­til the next har­vest sea­son of 2017/18.”

Min­is­ter Mup­fu­mira

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