- Samantha Murozoki ensures that people in her community are regularly eating despite living in a country where starvation is widespread.
- The feeding assistance attracts more than 2000 people daily and became a way to consider Samantha as the modern national heroine of Zimbabwe.
According to the World Food Program (WFP), half of Zimbabwe’s population or an estimation of more than seven million people were facing scarcity of food resources even before the coronavirus outbreak began in the country.
The UN Food agency WFP is appealing for a budget of 19.5 million USD to fund its logistics and operational response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Southern African states.
Neville, WFP Communications Director told that WFP is climbing up its urban assistance program to send monthly cash allocations for food to more than half a million residents of Zimbabwe by year end.
Amon Murwira, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, said that the government had recovered its social welfare program during the lockdown to mitigate facing starvation.
Murwira also stated that the government has a budget for the next eight months to accommodate one million people. With this, everyone who lost income can go to social welfare and enroll for assistance.
On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the starvation in the country as told by international agencies.
In March, the Zimbabwean government enforced the first 21-day lockdown. However, COVID-19 cases didn’t improve and the lockdown was followed by a two-week extension. Zimbabwe has verified 391 cases of COVID-19 but a widespread pandemic would devastate an already enfeebled health system.
However, in the small town of Chitungwiza on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe, Murozoki’s food kitchen is bridging the gap and sharing optimism among the hungry neighborhood.
According to Murozoki.
It all started as an aspiration to give food to a hungry neighbor at the beginning of the lockdown but it has grown into a community feeding program that invites more than 2000 people daily.
Since the start of lockdown implementation, the majority have suffered. They are staying indoors with no way to earn money for themselves. Because of the idea, Murozoki started to build her little unit. At first, it was planned to cater just to the people that she grew up with but things escalated and she ended up accommodating people from all over the place.
She initially funded the project out of her own and the people soon started to give contributions to sustain the project. It took her less than two weeks to accommodate 867 people so she started to trade jeans, jackets, sneakers and other apparels that she isn’t using at the moment. She traded her clothes for maize, cooking oil, salt and labor to maintain the days of feeding scheme.
Samantha Murozoki became a national heroine at the age of 35 and the event that happened changed her life. She felt a rollercoaster of emotions but she said that she is just happy that her son understands her desire to help and feed people. Her shift starts at 4AM and ends at 7:30 PM when serving the last meal.
In May, Murozoki faced an obstacle when Chitungwiza police demanded a shutdown.
But the soft heart in herself never stopped being determined to gain a license. Until now, she continues to serve her ever-growing community.