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Calls for even distribution of basic commodities

by Staff reporter
10 Apr 2020 at 07:54hrs | Views
The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) is engaging local wholesalers to ensure the distribution of basic commodities, especially maize-meal, to rural communities across Beitbridge District during the lockdown period.

At least 20 000 people are estimated to be food-insecure across the southern district.

Presently, 10 200 people are benefiting from the Government's drought relief efforts in rural Beitbridge while efforts are being made to assist an additional 5 000 people in rural areas and 4 000 in the urban centre.

Beitbridge Civil Protection Unit chairperson Mrs Skhangazile Mafu-Moyo, who is also the District Development Coordinator said they were assessing the availability of critical food items at both urban and rural centres.

She said though rural business centres were still stocked mostly with imported maize meal and other basic commodities, it was critical to have contingency measures in place ahead of time.

"We have done our assessment and realised that most supermarkets in town open between 9am and 3pm and people can easily access the basic commodities," said Mrs Mafu-Moyo.

"These shops are observing standard recommended preventative measures against the spread of this condition (Covid-19). Where there are challenges, the police are assisting.

"Generally basic commodities are available in towns but we are working with the major wholesalers to make these available in rural areas. This should be done in a properly planned manner to minimise congestion at major dealers."

She said in some cases, the sale of basic commodities will be done at centralised places in all the 15 rural wards. Although some people had groceries that were imported from South Africa, they would have to replenish their stocks from local markets during the lockdown.

Mrs Mafu-Moyo said they would also work out transport logistics for those retailers who were able to travel from the rural areas to wholesalers in town.

The development comes a few days after the Grain Marketing Board announced that it was working with the Department of Social Welfare to distribute grain to assist vulnerable communities across the country.

Source - the herald