‘Prioritise the vulnerable in Covid-19 interventions’


Tinashe Nekati

THE vulnerable in society must be prioritised in coronavirus (Covid-19) interventions as they are already disadvantaged because of their condition and status, a government official has said.

Wedza assistant district development coordinator Admire Dhliwayo, who was representing the district development coordinator as head of the district Covid-19 taskforce, said the vulnerable were struggling to make ends meet.

Dhliwayo — who was speaking during an information dissemination and educational campaign programme on Covid-19, which covered three wards in Wedza district — noted that the aged, people with disabilities, the chronically-ill, and child-headed families were the main groups that should top lists of beneficiaries for assistance with food items and other Covid-19 provisions.

“As a district, we have noted that several ills emerge from the Covid-19-induced lockdown because of the confinement people have been forced into. There is abuse of minors, gender-based violence and as such, community leaders across the country should be able to take the message to the community. In most cases it is the vulnerable groups who suffer most.

“Covid-19 is still with us although the government has relaxed the lockdown measures significantly to allow trading and other activities,” he said.

Dhliwayo said the Wedza district Covid-19 taskforce worked with other stakeholders like councillors in different wards as well as ministries of Social Welfare and Women Affairs, among others, in identifying those who needed help the most.

Representatives of both ministries stressed the need for proper management of disagreements to avoid violent conflicts within the home during the lockdown and beyond.

They also called on villagers to adhere to the government’s measures, which were drawn up in line with World Health Organisation guidelines on Covid-19, emphasising, however, that the shortage of fuel hampered their ability to reach out to as many people as possible with their programmes.

This comes as there have been reports of a surge in domestic violence cases during the lockdown.
During the same campaign, local civil society organisation, Wedza Residents Development Initiative Trust (Werdit) — as part of its peace building initiatives — donated an assortment of goods that included maize meal, cooking oil and hand sanitisers to vulnerable villagers at Wedza Centre (ward 15), Chinei, Matsine (both ward 5), Chigwedere and Garabha (ward 6).

Werdit director George Makoni said stakeholders and duty holders should decide on what their communities needed and who should benefit, adding that his organisation was planning to scale up the scope of its assistance to include resilience and sustainable empowerment projects, while also indicating that the success of the project in

Wedza would enable them to expand to other districts in the country.

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