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COVID19 initiative donates to Bulawayo vendors

by Mandla Ndlovu
25 Apr 2020 at 11:06hrs | Views
Bulawayo vendors and informal traders breathed a sigh of relief after I Am4Byo Against COVID19 initiative made a timely intervention to donate food hampers to deal with the dire food shortage situation under the extended 14 Day lockdown period.
It was smiles when hundreds of vendors and informal traders' scars of losing income during lockdown were pacified through receiving food donations on Friday. Beneficiaries included less privileged like people with disabilities, orphans, widows and the aged from Entumbane, Njube and Lobengula  Townships.
The director of Zimbabwe Christian AllianceReverend Useni Sibanda, who chairs Social Welfare pillar in the initiative, said, "The food distribution is part of the I Am4Byo Against COVID19 which is a collective initiative by Bulawayo community that includes business, churches, NGOs, medical fraternity and CSOs. Most people live from hand to mouth especially those in the informal sector, so this intervention is critical to support them and it is important that no one dies from hunger and starvation."

Ntombikayise Ndlovu  a member of Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association said, "Vendors are very grateful for such a good gesture in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic were all their livelihoods are threatened because most vendors are not selling anything, we thank the organizers for recognising the plight of vendors during this difficult period."

The initiative's Social Welfare arm is the one that is responsible for food distribution because food shortage and hunger are seen as part of the COVID -19 challenges.

Many vendors and informal traders have already lost their little savings will not be able to re-start their businesses in the recovery period. Some will not be able to pay school fees for their children. Some are struggling to access medication. A lot of them are on imposed starvation since they are unable to go to the market, sell and replenish supplies after the little they bought has been exhausted. 

Speaking on the side-lines of the distribution exercise at the Entumbane Brethren in Christ Church, Miss Lashier Ncube, Business Developer at  Turning Matabeleland Green and Hamara who donated vegetables said they believe that God has a new thing he wants to do to sustain Zimbabwe even amidst a crisis like COVID-19.
Councillor Sinikiwe Mutanda for Ward 10 who was present at the food distribution exercise said, "The programme has helped us, the challenge was that people were not able to go to the Central Business District to look for mealie- meal".

She added that Entumbane Township has many old people and vendors who benefited from the programme.
"This will help people to stay at home since a lot of people survive on hand to mouth. This programme came at the right time, it never discriminated on political affiliation and it benefited over 300 people in my ward," she said.

The food distribution is set to continue and it targets to feed 10 000 households in Bulawayo.

Source - Byo24News