San communities face starvation

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ZIMBABWE Human Rights Commission said it received distressed calls from the San people in Tsholotsho and Plumtree who indicated they are facing starvation after food aid distribution was halted in their rural areas due to difficulties in social distancing at distribution points.

“In relation to the right to food as provided in section 77 of the Constitution, on 14 April 2020, the Commission received complaints of limited access to food from the San communities of Tsholotsho and Plumtree.

“They indicated that they are facing starvation due to stoppage of food aid distribution in their areas due to difficulties of enforcing social distancing at distribution points.

“They also highlighted that they cannot fend for themselves through the usual performance of menial jobs for fellow villagers due to movement restrictions imposed by the national lockdown,” the Commission said in a statement.

The Commission implored government to provide social safety nets in terms of provision of food for the vulnerable groups during the extended lockdown period to avert suffering and hunger.

“Alternative food aid distribution methods which take into account social distancing should be adopted to alleviate the plight of marginalised communities such as the San Communities of Tsholotsho and Plumtree, among others who are facing food deficit.

Apart from marginalised rural communities, ZHRC noted that urban communities which normally survive on informal trading and other menial jobs have also become economically vulnerable due to lockdown restrictions which are negatively impacting on their income generating activities.

Such communities deserve to be considered for food aid and other forms of economic support such as cash transfers, the Commission added.”

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