By ZBC Reporter
THE DISTRICT Development Fund (DDF) has deployed seven, ten-tonne trucks to Matabeleland South to aid in the movement of grain to communities affected by drought.
The government through the district development fund (DDF ) has mobilised seven-ten tonne trucks from various parts of the country to assist the drought-stricken province of Matabeleland South to move food from the Grain Marketing Board depots to the affected communities.
Speaking to ZBC News at the Grain Marketing Board depot in Gwanda, DDF’S provincial coordinator, Moment Malandu said the province had only two functional trucks which made it difficult to effectively service needy communities.
“We had two ten-tonne trucks that were servicing the province so we decided to mobilise more vehicles which have been code-named hit and run trucks. So far the trucks have ferried 509 tonnes to date but we anticipate that by the end of the month we would have moved about 650 tonnes,” he said
The intervention by the government is a welcome development for the communities who have been struggling to pay for transport fares for grain they are receiving under the drought relief programme.
“In areas such as Beitbridge, Bulilima, Mangwe and Beitbridge district private transport operators are demanding 20 Rands from each beneficiary. This, unfortunately, has seen many people failing to access the grain as they simply cannot afford it,” explained Malandu.
As a long term solution to this problem, the DDF says it is seized with repairing its fleet so that the affected districts can be serviced adequately.
Meanwhile, the Gwanda Depot has 113 tonnes of maize, 945 tonnes and 104 tonnes of white and red sorghum respectively and 30 tonnes of millet ready for distribution.
Following the drought, that affected most parts of the country, Zimbabwe is importing grain from the Atlantic, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia to meet the food deficit.
By ZBC Reporter