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Floods affect food distribution to vulnerable communities

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Tamary Chikiwa

in BULAWAYO

THE heavy rains that the country is experiencing are disrupting food distribution of food aid to vulnerable communities as many roads are flooding, the United Nations (UN) has said.

In an update on how the international organisation is addressing Covid-19-related issues in Zimbabwe, the UN said most bridges and roads to vulnerable communities were flooded, making it difficult for vehicles carrying food aid to pass through.

“The recent rains in most parts of the country have affected roads and bridges, disrupting the last mile delivery of food assistance, making it difficult to reach vulnerable communities,” read the UN report.

The report said the UN through its World Food Programme (WFP) had since started erecting mobile storage units, starting with areas in dire need of food aid.

“The WFP has erected a mobile storage unit in Chipinge at Tongogara Refugee Camp to make sure the food is always available to the refugees.

“This will be done in most areas that are in need of aid so that the programme does not stop,” read the report.

The mobile storage unit has a capacity to stock up to 300 metric tonnes of commodities, added the UN.

The report highlighted that existing infrastructure accommodated non-food items (NFIs) such as detergents and other critical items in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Setting up mobile storage units now allows food to be separated from NFIs, there will be no risk of contaminating the food,” read the report.

Meanwhile, the UN, through its Europe-funded Spotlight Initiative, continued to provide shelter for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors as GBV cases were on the increase during the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

“The EU (European Union)-UN Spotlight Initiative continues to provide shelter to GBV survivors and we have opened a new shelter in Mutingwende. The shelter provides emergency safety services closer to where women and girls are in the district and other surrounding districts.

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