By Michel Nkurunziza
The distribution of food relief to over 69,000 households who currently have no source of income due to the latest lockdown imposed on Kigali city kicked off, on January 22, in all villages of the capital.
The New Times visited the Remera sector in Gasabo District where vulnerable residents got food on Friday.
“I am a construction worker but when the lockdown was imposed, it affected my ability to earn money and look after my four children. But this food relief will help me and my family cope during the lockdown,” Donatien Muhirwa, a resident of Rukiri 2 cell in Rebero village said.
Therese Uwimana, another resident of Remera said she had a small stand selling clothes that aided her to feed her family but this was not among the essential goods allowed during the lockdown.
“Even the little money we had saved, we used it to pay school fees although schools are also under lockdown. That is why this food donation is very crucial,” she said.
Esperance Nyirandekeyaho said she used to clean people’s homes but was laid off when lockdown was imposed.
“I was wondering how we could survive since it is difficult to save from the little income I earn yet we are a family of seven,” she said.
According to Godfrey Karamuzi, the Executive Secretary of Remera sector, at least 3,369 households from four cells will get food relief.
He said they have lists of beneficiaries for every village which youth volunteers, community security organs, leaders of ‘Isibo’ groups (that are part of the village set up) are using to distribute food relief.
He said the food relief is being distributed door-to-door as opposed to the previous lockdown where households would gather in a crowd at village and cell offices.
The personnel mainly youth volunteers helping in distribution are the ones who have tested Covid-19 negative and must be wearing facemasks and other protective equipment to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
There are about 1,000 volunteers operating in Kigali city who are already helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and more have joined to help in food relief distribution in different villages of the capital to ensure it is swift.
“The beneficiaries have to stay home and the volunteers will distribute food to their homes. The quantity of food depends on the number of family members,” he explained.
A family of between one and two persons gets 3.5 Kilogrammes of rice and 1.4 Kilogrammes of beans.
A family of between three and five persons receives 6.3 Kilogrammes of rice and 3.5 Kilogrammes of beans.
A family of over six persons gets 12.6 Kilogrammes of rice and seven Kilogrammes of beans while those with younger children also get milk.
“This is the food support for the first week of lockdown and after one week, they will get more food relief,” he added.
Over 1,700 tonnes of food
Pudence Rubingisa, the Mayor of Kigali city said that over 1,700 tonnes of food and 20,000 litres of milk will be distributed to the affected residents.
“So far, we have identified 69,000 families but this is subject to change because even those who had saved, it might eventually be exhausted and need food relief,” he said.
The quantities of food relief, he added, might also increase depending on any circumstances in the coming days.
“The demand for food relief might increase but we have enough food in the National Food Reserve,” he said.
Source New Times.