Residents of Mwiri sector in Kayonza district of Eastern Province are worried over the reduction of food donations including cereals amidst the persistence of drought.The government has been supplying food to drought-hit Kayonza district since May 2016.
Residents who talked to IGIHE have said they would receive six kilograms of maize along with four kilograms of beans per household per week. However, they claim, food aid has been reduced to the currently four kilograms of maize posing fears of starvation in coming days.
“Food donations have been extremely reduced. I wonder why they have reduced the aid yet the drought persists. Are government food stores empty?” asked one resident on condition of anonymity.
Another resident said that they face cases of fraud where they hear names of people not living in their localities queueing to receive food aid.
The executive secretary of Mwiri sector, Mwizerintwari Gilbert said that food was reduced only once.
“The food donations were reduced only last week because there were challenges of taking stocks district stores to sites where residents collect food. Other than that lone case, residents are used to receiving foods for seven days every week. Food rations are made based on the number of family members. From one person to four, we offer two kilograms of beans and four others of maize whereas a family of four and beyond receive three kilograms of beans and five of maize, ” he said.
Mwizerintwari said that he is not aware of the matter of food aid misallocations.
“I don’t know about that problem. Recently, we seized food from a businessman having bought it from residents who wanted to meet other basic needs. People receiving food on other people’s behalf are village leaders or neighbors of absent residents unable to reach the site where food is supplied from. Otherwise the exercise is very transparent,” he said.
The vice mayor in charge of economic affairs and development in Kayonza district, Uwibambe Consolée also said that food donations were not reduced.
“The quantity of foods supplied to residents has not been reduced.They would all receive equal quantities at the beginning but the process has been reformed to offer food based on the household size,” she said.