Working Notes for Humanitarian Food Proposal
The Zimbabwe Community Development Trust was
set up in 2001, to provide humanitarian assistance to farm workers
affected by the land redistribution programme. ZCDT aims to provide
food aid, shelter and medical assistance to farm workers who have
either been displaced or who are still resident on non-operational
farms. ZCDT also aims to provide short-term food and accommodation
in the cities for low-risk farm workers.
This project has been set up to provide humanitarian
assistance to farm workers in the farming communities. ZCDT has
identified two main groups of workers needing assistance: those
who have been forcibly removed from the farms where they were
both employed and living; and those who are still resident on
farms that are no longer operational.
ZCDT aims to distribute food to the workers
on a monthly basis. Food will be divided into packs which include
mealie meal, cooking oil, salt, sugar, kapenta, beans, peanut
butter, tea, soap and matches. There are three sizes of packsfor
a large family of five or more people, for a small family of four
people and for an individual.
ZCDT is currently distributing food to two farms
in Rusape and Mhangura, with a long-term goal of 100 farms countrywide.
ZCDT also aims to provide shelter for farm workers
whose property has been destroyed, although attempts to lease
land for this purpose has been hampered by war veterans.
Providing clothing for destitute workers as
well as medical assistance is also part of ZCDT's long-term plan.
ZCDT also aims to provide school fees for farm
worker's children. Farm workers will apply for assistance which
will be given at the discretion of ZCDT.
Aid agencies currently working in Zimbabwe have
appealed to ZCDT for reliable information on the plight of the
farm workers. As part of this project, ZCDT is gathering essential
information from each farm, which will be collated and distributed
to other relief agencies. This includes information about the
status of the farm, how many farm workers and their families have
been effected, how many settlers are resident on the farm and
whether there have been violent incidents, and what assistance
is immediately required.
ZCDT has good working relationships with other
agencies providing humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe, including
GAPWUZ, the Farm Family Trust and the International Committee
of the Red Cross.
ZCDT believes that the scale of the problem
requires a multi-NGO approach.
On one farm in Mashonaland East, that was visited
to possibly assist farm workers, we found settlers starving. They
were in an extremely distressing situation because the Zanu-PF
youth deployed on the farm were there to prevent the settlers
from returning to their Svosve homes as much as to intimidate
the remaining farm workers.
In time, famine relief for starving farm workers
will be needed for these settlers.
On the Crisis Centre work in Harare, we have
a good working relationship with Amani. We only take those Amani
sends to us so that the pre-screening is done by them. We have
a two-week programme which protects low-risk persons who need
to get away from their areas for a short time. No political involvement
is allowed by any persons while being housed by the ZCDT.
To assist people to rebuild their homes which
have been destroyed in politically motivated violence.
The major areas for funding are going to be
food and medicine for both the farm workers work and the urban
Crisis Centre work. The recent WFP report on the fast approaching
famine indicated a concern that no one has thought about the urban
relief. We need to continue and build our working relationship
with other organisations to ensure the care of victims of violence.