Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
DISTRICTS have been urged to come up with response strategies to address food and nutrition security challenges that have been identified under the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac) report.
Districts are expected to identify problematic areas and come up with solutions which they are expected to implement under the supervision of the Food and Nutrition Council (FNC).
FNC is conducting a tour across various provinces to access the role of communities in food and nutrition security.
The council is also presenting findings on the ZimVac report across various districts.
Representatives from FNC on Monday visited Madema Garden and Batana Dam in Batana Village in Ward 24 in Gwanda where villagers are running an agricultural and fishery project.
In an interview, FNC programme assistant officer Mr Alpha Ndlovu said they had adopted a multi sectoral community-based model where various stakeholders were supposed to be involved in coming up and implementing strategies to ensure food and nutrition security.
“In line with devolution and our focus on strengthening the grassroot level structures we want the districts to own the food and nutrition situation and respond to challenges at local level which allows them to tailor make solutions that are best suited for their circumstances.
“The top down approach has some short comings of its own and it takes away the strength of districts.
“In all the 60 rural districts of the country we have teams that are presenting the findings of the ZimVac process.
Districts have to identify problematic areas and come up with response strategies. They will be expected to implement these strategies and as a council we will be monitoring to see whether we are making any progress.
Hopefully this process will also add value to the National Development Strategy (NDS) that we are developing,” he said.
Mr Ndlovu said under the Vision 2030 the country was aspiring to attain middle-income status and one of the indicators was having a low acute and chronic malnutrition and high food security prevalence. He said in order to achieve the vision the nation had to become food sufficient.
He said the purpose of their visits to various provinces was to capture the experiences of various communities in the areas of food and nutrition.
He said they also wanted to have an appreciation of how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected productivity and food security in various communities as well as how communities have managed to make it through this pandemic.
Mr Ndlovu said from their visit to Ward 24 in Gwanda they had seen a garden which was flourishing which is a positive sign.
He said during the visits they will also assess how the Ministry of Health and Child Care has been addressing nutrition challenges among children.
He said the findings of the visits will generate a body of evidence alongside the ZimVac response strategies.
“Under the multi sectoral community-based model we strengthen governance structures from grassroots where we train food and nutrition committees at ward and district level. The committees then work together to try and address challenges within the districts and then identify workable solutions. The community is now a beneficiary and implementer.
“Then various sectors such as health, infrastructure, Wash, agriculture, social protection and health among others and various partners come in to assist in implementing these solutions which brings a holistic approach in addressing food and nutrition security challenges,” he said.
Mr Ndlovu said according to the ZimVac report sticking issues that needed to be addressed in Matabeleland South Province include high food insecurity, high prevalence of open defecation, acute malnutrition, poor diets within households, low proportion of children accessing the minimum recommended diet among others. — @DubeMatutu