BY NKULULEKO SIBANDA
THE business community in Bulawayo on Thursday pooled resources and dispatched two trucks with food aid to the Eastern Highlands to assist those affected by Cyclone Idai.
The consignment, which was sourced by the Bulawayo Economic Development Agency (BEDA) in conjunction with Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan, Judith Ncube, consisted of 34 tonnes of mealie-meal and an assortment of other foodstuffs.
BEDA vice-chairperson Freejoy Mavolwana told Southern Eye that the consignment was sourced in response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for assistance for the affected families.
“The donation that we sent off this morning (yesterday) is our small way of answering to the call that President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) made to Zimbabweans for assistance towards those that were affected by the cyclone.
“It is our small way of saying to the affected families, we are with you in this time of great need and we will not forsake you because this (disaster) has visited you,” Mavolwana said.
Speaking at the brief send-off ceremony, Bulawayo metropolitan affairs minister, Judith Ncube, said her province would continue to source for more assistance. She said this was in line with the kind-heartedness that is associated with the people of Bulawayo.
“I would like to thank Bulawayo for this gesture towards some of our own who have been affected by this cyclone. The people of Bulawayo have always been known to be kind and I am happy that they have been able to pool their little resources to be able to put this consignment together,” she said.
“We believe it will go a long way in helping those affected and we shall continue, as Bulawayo province, to source more assistance and forward it to the affected families.”
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe southern region contributed the maize meal, while sweet and biscuits manufacturer Arenel weighed in with some foodstuffs and water.