Rwanda:Optimism as government provides food relief to vulnerable in a total lockdown .

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Some of food stuff being distributed to vulnerable families in Kigali. Courtesy photo

As Kigali city residents and those in eight other districts are in a total lockdown, the government has started an exercise to distribute food stuff to the vulnerable residents who depended on casual works.

“The government always has a reserve stock for emergency situations, notably the lockdown, disasters, and others,” he said.

The government launched the exercise to distribute food to vulnerable families on Sunday and officials assured that there are stocks in different provinces to be used during emergencies.  

“Local leaders know people who depended on casual works and eat because they earn per day and other vulnerable people, however, other people who have means and are not on the list can also call for food relief, we are committed to ensuring none goes hungry due to the lockdown,” Minister Gatabazi added.

The Minister also called for other partners such as faith-based organizations, civil society among others to intervene and support ongoing exercise if every needy family can get food relief.

The food supplies the government is donating include maize, rice and beans while families with children and maternal mothers get milk as well.

Over 210,000 families have been identified so far only in the city of Kigali and figures from other districts were being recorded according to officials.

Beneficiaries speak out

Clementine Mujawamariya, a widow and a mother of five sells second hand spare parts in the outskirt of the City of Kigali and her small shop has since been closed when the lockdown was imposed.

She says she was grateful to be one of the beneficiaries of food relief as she was not sure of how life could be without such support.

“ I was worried about my life and that of my children, business was much affected by COVID-19 even before the lockdown, which means that we did not have enough money and it could be hard for us to get food in the lockdown,” she said.

Rwanda has been experiencing an upsurge of COVID-19 positive cases over the past days including over 2,773 positive cases and 11 fatalities recorded in a single day on Sunday, 18, July 2021, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health.

Overall, positive cases registered in Rwanda are 57, 332 and 649 fatalities since March 2020 when new the first case was recorded.

The country is experiencing the third wave of the pandemic and this is the third lockdown in the city of Kigali and in different parts of the country.

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