THE Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has revealed that it has set aside over 1000 tonnes of relief food in its primary response to cushion the hunger situation in the country.
DMMU country coordinator Patrick Kangwa told the Daily Nation in an interview yesterday that the primary response would cover all the parts of Western Province and six districts in Southern Province.
Mr Kangwa explained that the 1000 tonnes of relief food was meant to bridge the gap as the unit was still carrying out assessment in 48 districts.
He said currently the areas that were being targeted needed urgent assistance and could not wait for the full assessment in the 48 districts to be concluded before relief food was distributed. “What we are currently doing is a primary response not the main response. We have currently distributed 1,809 tonnes of relief food in the primary response, which is just intended to fill the gap.
The areas targeted were those which cannot wait until the full assessment is done and the 1,809 metric tonnes are intended for all areas in Western Province and six districts in Southern Province,” Mr. Kangwa explained.
He said the assessments for the full relief food response in 48 districts was underway and that as soon as this was done, then the unit would have a clear picture of which areas and how many people needed help.
Mr Kangwa said once the data was obtained, then the unit would have an idea of how many tonnes of relief food would be required to match the demand of the affected people.
“We are carrying out an assessment in 48 districts and after we have finished those assessments, this is the information which will now give us and the areas and the numbers of people affected, as well as the quantities that will be distributed,” he explained.
Vice President Inonge Wina has called for transparency in the distribution of relief maize. Early this week, Ms Wina warned that segregation should not be entertained in the distribution of relief maize as everyone must benefit from the exercise.
DMMU is vested in the Office of the Vice President and was created in 1994 which among other objectives was to put in place appropriate preparedness measures in order to manage disasters effectively and efficiently and put in place measures to restore livelihoods and other life support systems to affected communities.